Thursday, March 3, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes from Ireland's Darina Allen ~

Warm days and cold nights make for a mixture of foods as well. This morning, I want to share a recipe from Darina Allen's cookbook Irish Traditional Cooking. Who doesn't enjoy pancakes in the morning when there's time to sit and savor the taste of maple syrup or your favorite jam on top? These are very rustic-sounding, but absolutely appealing when you think of their tasty simplicity. The introduction to this section is interesting, and I present a part of it for you to enjoy as Darina tells us:
Pancakes: As most cooking was traditionally done over the open fire, Ireland has a wide variety of recipes for pancakes and other griddle cakes. These are easily made from readily available ingredients--such as flour, cornmeal or potatoes mixed with milk or buttermilk and perhaps an egg.
 Pancakes are still made in virtually every household in Ireland on Shrove Tuesday and are enjoyed by young and old alike. My children queue up beside the Aga for theirs and eat them hot off the pan with a brush of melted butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar.  
There's more, but I don't want to give all of her introduction--you may want to get the book. It's full of information about the food of Ireland, along with beautiful pictures. And I'll share one more tidbit from the pancake section. Darina makes us smile at this process in her re-telling of the way it was done in an earlier time: 

'Run round to the dairy and fetch me a jug of buttermilk and sure we'll make pancakes.' My great aunt in Tipperary would put on the griddle to heat and within minutes she'd be mixing the batter. We would drop big spoonfuls of batter on to the hot griddle and watch the bubbles rise and burst. Then we'd carefully flip them over and wait impatiently for them to be cooked on the other side. We would eat them straight off the griddle with butter and homemade jam.

Now it's your turn to recapture the Irish spirit of pancakes. Darina notes: "We cook the pancakes rather less romantically on a non-stick pan at a medium heat and use a generous tablespoon of batter for each pancake." 

Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes  about 20                                                                                           

4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
large pinch salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, free-range if possible
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the center, add the egg and enough buttermilk to make batter of a dropping consistency (it usually takes the full amount). Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lightly greased hot griddle and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side before turning over. The pancakes are ready to turn when the bubbles burst. Flip over gently and cook until golden on the other side. Serve warm with butter and jam or honey for tea.

Okay...maybe you didn't need another recipe for pancakes! But I really wanted to share some of these new (to me) and wonderful recipes that have a connection to the past. I hope you try them!


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