OAlthough many often turn to ready-made pancake mix – Aunt Jemimas, invented in Missouri in 1889, has been sold for centuries – cooking the dish from scratch is actually incredibly simple.
It’s a sad fact of life, but the first pancake never works. The first of all the batches I make is a sad, flabby rag, too soft to even consider throwing: usually gobbled up by my teenage son, more out of pity than hunger, I guess. But, get the right kit and follow these simple tips, and you’ll soon have a stack of triumphantly stacked pancakes.
The problem, usually, is that the pan is not hot enough. To make a successful pancake, it needs to be very hot, so that a few drops of water slide off the surface like pinballs before evaporating.
The second pancake is usually more similar, crisp, and firm enough to throw away. Sure, you can flip it with a spatula or a slice of fish, but where’s the fun in that?
There’s an art to the perfect pancake – just read on.
How to Make Perfect Pancakes for Mardi Gras 2022
Butter gives the best flavor, but the pan should be so hot that it is bound to brown. I don’t mind, but there are ways to minimize the effect:
- Use only a thin layer of butter. Rather than laying it in the pan, use a heat-resistant silicone pastry brush to paint soft or melted butter onto the surface of the pan.
- Use either unsalted butter, which has less whey and burns less easily, or a mixture of butter and oil, which is also less likely to burn.
- First clarify the butter by melting it in a small saucepan. As it bubbles, the yellow butterfat rises to the top, with a milky liquid below. Carefully skim the milky part and pour the clarified butter underneath in a saucepan.
Supermarkets often sell inexpensive pancake pans with non-stick surfaces and a low lip. While the nonstick, at first, is an easy way to make great pancakes, the pan is of little use for anything else. And, in truth, this nonstick makes me grumpy, even (and especially) on expensive pans.