For someone who claims to be a crepe person, I sure post a lot of pancake recipes. But making them is a pleasure and they seem to make everyone happy, plus, they are a good styling subject. I'm trying to learn how to use a tripod and the light in my parents' kitchen is quite different from what I'm used to, hence the choice of an easy task.
I'm slowly getting used to not currently living in a big city, and the fruit garden in my backyard surely helps. It doesn't take any convincing to realize that fully organic, ripe - and free - berries are a small luxury. I could list picking them as a hobby. This year, our bushes of blackberry gave so much fruit, the branches hang heavily just centimeters away from the ground. Some of the berries, overcooked in the sun, burst apart in my fingers, staining them for days. Leaves of mint, which grow and multiply at an insane pace, taking over the herb patch this summer, find their way into most of my cooking, and still never seem to end, which puts my 1.79 euro plants from Esselunga to shame, as they were bare and dead by the end of their first week.
I made these pancakes after taking a morning walk in said garden, forcicng myself to be more appreciative. I have a problem with always, always seeing the grass on the other side as greener. Not just greener. Neon green. My memory is ridiculously selective and like that of a goldfish when it comes to the bad things, so I now find myself missing Milan as if it was The Best City o But I try being more fair.
PS. I have mentioned a while back that I took part in a FoodSaving competition organized by Bocconi and Expo - my team won our track! You can read more about it on the Guardian, here - and find a recipe for a Food Saving soup that I've created. I've always wanted to write a recipe for the Guardian, and while this is not entirely how I planned to do it, it's still a very proud moment for me!
Full disclosure: I see pancakes as an excuse to eat the toppings, like fried banana or, here, maple syrup and berries. I don't really care if, when plain, they are the best in the world. So those pancakes here kind of stick to the pan and don't look all that pretty. They are not of the fluffiest kind, either. But when served with all the extras, they make a really nice brunch meal.
pancakes (makes about 12):
3/4 cup soy milk + 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
+ coconut oil for frying
for the sauce (makes 1 1/2 cup):
2 cup berries (I used blackberries)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or less if using sweet fruit)
3 tbsp chia seeds
optional: 1/4 cup mint leaves
First, make the sauce, so it has time to thicken. Blitz your berries until liquid, pass them through a sieve to get the seeds out, then combine with the maple and chia, and transfer to a jar, then pop into a fridge. If using herbs, add the seed-free pulp back to the blender, and whiz until uniform.
Let the soy milk and vinegar stand for 10 minutes to make 'buttermilk'.
In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Make a well, gently add the 'buttermilk', mashed banana and oil, whisk them together with a fork on top of the flour to avoid banana clumps, then combine everything without overmixing - some tiny dry spots of flour are okay!
Let stand for 20 minutes until eveything thickens. The batter should be as thick as yoghurt. You might need to add a tablespoon or two of milk.
Preheat a heavy-bottom pan. Adding a little bit of coconut oil for each round, fry the pancakes for about 2 minutes per side, only flipping once the top looks dry-ish and bubbles leave tiny holes. They will stick a little, so the oil is essential.
To serve, add 1/4 cup of the berry sauce to a plate, layer the pancakes on top, then drizzle with maple syrup and scatter some fresh berries on top.