Pancakes – British and American

I’ve been working on a recipe for American style pancakes this week, and was just trying to put the finishing touches to the recipe a couple of days ago, but something went ‘wrong’ and the mixture came out too thin. I soldiered on and poured the mixture into the pan. Initially I was disappointed because the mixture just spread out too thin (as was to be realistically expected), but then, with the aid of the back of the spatula (the mixture wasn’t THAT thin) and a tweak of the cooking temperature, out popped a British style pancake. Daughter #2 immediately requested the traditional sugar and lemon, as did daughter #1 when she finally got herself down here for breakfast. 6 pancakes later, they were declared a complete success. Suitably mild in flavor, with a texture that was pliant and soft, and very slightly crispy at the edges; they were perfect.

British style pancakes filled with apple sauce and the less British maple syrup.

British style pancakes filled with apple sauce and (the less British) maple syrup.

4 oz (1 scant cup) raw cashews or cashew flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) quinoa flour
2 eggs
2 oz (1/2 cup) potato starch
1 tbsp coconut flour – to make the pancakes fluffier
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 – 3 tsps sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice (to interact with raising agents and counter richness)
oil for cooking (do not add to the batter)

If you have a high speed blender such as a Vitamix, just put all the ingredients in the blender in the order stated with 1/2 cup of water, and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Otherwise: Put the cashews and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of water in a blender, and blend until the cashews are smooth. Let sit and soak for 20 minutes. Blend the cashews again to ensure they’re smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.

If you’re making British pancakes, add a further 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of water. Blend everything again.

For American pancakes, a spoonful of the mixture dropped back into the blender/bowl, should take about 10 seconds or so to sink back in.

For British pancakes, the mixture should look more like pourable cream.

Leave for 10 minutes to allow the flour to soak up the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a cast iron griddle or frying pan over a medium heat with a smear of oil until up to temperature. (This means that if you wet your hand with water and flick the water at the pan, the water will spit and sizzle immediately.)

Turn the temperature down to medium low for British pancakes, or low for American pancakes: you don’t want to use a high heat as this will roast the cashews and give an odd flavor, but you do want them to sizzle slightly.

American Cashew Pancakes

American Cashew Pancakes

For American pancakes: pour out as many 1/8 – 1/4 cup measures of batter into the pan as will fit without the pancakes touching once they’ve spread out.

Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are brown, and the tops have little holes all over (3-4 minutes), and appear to have dried a little (become less shiny) around the edges.

Use a spatula to turn the pancakes over, and cook until the second side is brown (2-3 minutes).

Remove the pancakes to a warm, covered plate until ready to serve. Repeat process with the remaining batter.

Allow the pancakes to sit for a couple of minutes or so before serving with maple syrup, apple sauce, scrambled tofu, etc.

British style pancake ready for flipping.

British style pancake ready for flipping.

For British pancakes: pour 1/4-1/3 cup mixture into the frying pan, and use the back of a spatula to spread the mixture out as thinly as possible without holes. Cook for a minute or two (until the bottom is brown), then flip with a spatula and cook for another minute. Remove the pancake from the pan and keep warm between two pieces of kitchen towel until ready to serve.

Re-grease the pan with a smear of oil, and repeat for the next pancake.

Serve with lemon and sugar (traditional), or stuffed with chili, or ratatouille, or mushroom and black olive sauce.

British pancake stuffed with vegetable chili.

British pancake stuffed with vegetable chili.


3 thoughts on “Pancakes – British and American

  1. Swarna says:

    Can I use amaranth instead of quinoa flour? If so will same amount work? Or garbanzo flour is better?

    • I’m inclined to think that garbanzo flour would have too strong a flavor, however much I like it in tortillas. Amaranth has a good flavor, but my kids don’t care for the texture …. however, I shall try the amaranth substitution asap, and let you know, as I like it well enough, and I’m HUNGRY!

      • So, I tried the American pancakes replacing the quinoa with amaranth flour, and they worked fine. The flavor of the amaranth did come through a little strong until they’d cooled a little, but the texture that my kids don’t care for, disappeared. …. and I’m no longer hungry.

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