After making the Pioneer Woman's "Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever." (who am I to argue? I'd never even heard of sheet cake until I saw her recipe) on Friday night for Saturday's luncheon with les parents and les grandparents, I had a lot of leftover buttermilk to deal with. (Why can't they sell buttermilk in 500 mL or even 250 mL cartons, like they do with regular milk and half-and-half? Who ever needs a full litre of the stuff?) Anyway, determined to use the buttermilk and not let it sit and go rancid in my fridge door, I decided to make buttermilk pancakes for myself yesterday morning.
Now, when you think of pancake breakfasts, most of us think of big family celebrations, like Christmas morning, or community days events where the firefighters man the huge flat top grill while kids with balloons tied 'round their wrists line up for flapjacks and proceed to smother them with salted butter and Aunt Jemimah "syrup." And if you're lucky, your breakfast sausages will soak up all that leftover syrup and you can feel your arteries clogging as you chew.
But cooking and eating pancakes alone is not exactly as...fun. However, what a pregnant woman wants, a pregnant woman (usually) gets. I wanted pancakes, and so I made them.
The best recipe I could find online (that's right - I don't have an "old faithful" pancake recipe that I swear by...yet) was this: fruit-topped buttermilk pancakes. Not only were they mighty tasty, but the fruit puree on top in lieu of syrup was DELISH! I don't know why I would never have thought to puree and heat fruit as a topping but I'm sure glad "Arlene Butler" did! I can still taste it...probably because I only ate two big ones yesterday and had the leftovers for breakfast today. Ha. These pancakes reheated nicely and the fruit puree kept well - leftovers could be used stirred into yogurt or a smoothie. Some tweaks I made to the recipe:
-first, I halved it to serve 3 instead of 6 (sad, I know)
-I substituted honey for the brown sugar in the fruit puree
-I substituted apple sauce for the vegetable oil in the pancakes
-I did still add a smidgen of REAL maple syrup to the pancakes when I served them. Any excuse to eat real maple syrup is a good one, I say
If this sounds too healthy for you, try it first, you won't believe it. The vanilla in the batter really bumps up the sweetness of the pancakes, too, so the flavours all around are amazing.
For those of you now craving buttermilk pancakes but don't want to buy it JUST for the recipe (because you know it won't get used), try one of these substitutes instead. And yes, I DO wish I'd thought to research buttermilk substitutes before buy an entire litre of it. :)
For each 1 cup buttermilk called for in a recipe, use 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream;
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup;
1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 tablespoons cream of tartar;
1/4 cup buttermilk powder and 1 cup water
*UPDATE: With STILL more buttermilk to use up, I'll baking up this Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream and freezing the layers tonight for use at another time. Doesn't it look delightful? That should about do it for my litre of buttermilk!