Forget the mix; best pancakes are made from scratch
“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, technical specialist Robert L. Payne II (chef at his family’s The Bears’ Steakhouse in Duanesburg) begins a four-part series on breakfast favorites. First up are Pancakes With Raspberry Sauce.
Robert Payne loves to see people making hot cakes from scratch.
“The biggest thing is, everyone is so afraid to make a homemade batter or a waffle batter,” Payne said. “They get so stuck on convenience of Bisquick and premade pancake mixes. It’s just a few staple items and you should have them. You’ve got your flour, you’ve got your sugar. . . . You don’t have to use buttermilk; you can use regular milk.”
Batter can be mixed ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for later use.
“A lot of times, when I’m entertaining, I’ll even make pancakes in advance,” Payne said. “I’ll do them on a griddle so they brown up really nice. I’ll put them on a sheet pan on parchment and I just keep them in the oven on warm and they stay so nice.”
Payne has other tips for top cakes. One, the griddle must be very hot.
“And people, you have to brown them on one side,” Payne said. “You just can’t flip them. People play with them, they’ll take a spatula and go this way and go that way. You’ve got to let them cook thoroughly on one side.”
A tip-top cake deserves a terrific topping. Maple syrup isn’t always the first choice.
“I love maple syrup if it’s true, traditional, homemade maple syrup,” Payne said. “I hate the fake stuff. A twist, if you want to do a little healthier — we make a raspberry sauce for the pancakes.”
The sauce is simply made. Raspberries are mixed with sugar. When a liquid forms, the mixture is placed into a sieve lined with cheesecloth and squeezed into a bowl. Honey and fresh mint are other options for sauce additives.
Some folks prefer fruit or other sweets on the insides of their pancakes. Blueberries and chocolate chips are options.
“We had one student who took raisins and she plumped them up with Marsala wine,” Payne said. “With the Marsala wine and plumped raisins, she sautéed some apples, just some chunks of apples with the Marsala wine. She folded in the plumped raisins and apples — beautiful flavor.”
Pancakes With Raspberry Sauce
11⁄2 tablespoons baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter (or vegetable oil)
1 cup milk
1 cup of flour
For raspberry sauce:
1 cup fresh raspberries, washed (or 1 cup frozen raspberries)
1⁄4 cup sugar (more or less, depending on individual taste)
For pancakes, blend the eggs, baking powder, salt and sugar into a smooth batter. Add the butter, milk and flour. Mix briefly into a smooth batter. Pour onto a hot griddle or hot sauté pan. Flip over each cake after the edges form and are golden brown. Finish off in about 1 to 2 minutes.
For sauce, place the raspberries and sugar in a bowl. Rest until a liquid is formed. Put this mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze over a bowl until all the juice is extracted.