Scrunch. Dictionary definition? A meal typically eaten in the afternoon as a combination of lunch and high tea. Or that’s what they told us at the game lodge we stayed at last weekend when we were given “scrunch” at 3pm. OK it might not make linguistic sense (surely it should be “hunch” or “tunch”) but scrunch sounds good and I think I shall adopt it into my lexicon.
These puffy pancakes are the perfect scrunch dish. Or they would be amazing for breakfast. Or dessert. Or anytime really, as they are pancake flipping delicious. I found the recipe whilst searching Darina Allen’s wonderful Ballymaloe Cookery Course book for guidance on how to make French toast. But I got coaxed away from the eggy bread by these pancakes and let me tell you, they are AMAZING!!!
The batter for these vanilla scented oven-baked pancakes contains whisked egg whites to make them ridiculously light and fluffy. Such a simple idea but a new one for me and now I don’t think I would make pancakes any other way. Given the number of times I have eaten them over the past few weeks they are set to become a staple in my repertoire.
I have adapted Darina’s recipe to make a single serve pancake as I only have a diddy 20cm oven proof frying pan. I also found that the pancakes benefit from the merest blast on the hob before baking in the oven otherwise the bottom tends to be a little flabby.
The first time I made these pancakes I served them with what I had in the fridge – mixed berries, greek yoghurt, fresh mint and a good drizzle of maple syrup. This combo was SO good that I haven’t deviated since but Darina says they are also excellent with savoury accompaniments such as bacon and cheese.
Give them a go. I promise you, you will be glad you did.
Puffy Pancakes (adapted from Darina Allen’s “Ballymaloe Cookery Course”)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- ¼ tsp vanilla paste
- 60ml milk
- knob of butter
- mixed berries, greek yoghurt, mint leaves, maple syrup, icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Separate the eggs and using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Mix the yolks with the sugar, flour and vanilla in another bowl then gradually add the milk whilst whisking constantly until you get a smooth, thin batter. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
2. Melt the butter in a 20cm oven proof frying pan over a high heat and when the butter has just melted, pour in the batter and smooth the top. Cook on the hob for exactly 1 minute, no more, and then transfer to the oven. Bake for 6 – 8 minutes till puffy and golden brown.
3. Slide on to a plate and top with the berries, yoghurt, mint and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Dust with icing sugar if you like.