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Davis, California

Monday, September 20, 2021

Pancake Party


Buttermilk pancakes, cardamom pancakes, cinnamon applesauce pancakes, peanut butter-filled pancakes, speculoos-filled pancakes, candied bacon pancakes, lemon herbed goat cheese pancakes and postmodern pancakes. I ate all of them. In one sitting. Drenched in blood orange rhubarb syrup. In that order.

After watching I Like Killing Flies, a documentary about the eccentric owner of Shopsin’s in New York, I’ve been thinking about pancakes an awful lot. Shopsin’s is famous for its insanely huge menu — over 900 items — and its many pancakes in particular. The cleverly named postmodern pancakes, for example, are essentially ripped up, cooked pancakes thrown back into pancake batter and cooked again — a texturally interesting result that makes me want to try recreating mac and cheese pancakes next.

It’s easy to make all sorts of variations on pancakes in one sitting. Start with a basic pancake batter, scoop a few tablespoons into another bowl and add the special ingredients before hitting the griddle. For some, the other bowl isn’t even necessary.

What should your special ingredients be? Anything that sounds semi-weird yet tasty probably is semi-weird yet tasty. The only ingredient I picked up and then immediately put back down was Sriracha.

The Shopsin’s general philosophy isn’t just that the food has to be fun to eat, it has to be fun to make. This is definitely fun.

Buttermilk pancakes

(Adapted from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.)

Yields 10 3-inch pancakes.

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

3 tbsp melted butter

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Leave the batter lumpy.

Heat a skillet to medium-high. Lightly grease with butter and spoon about 3 tbsp of batter per pancake. Cook until you see a few bubbles form on the top, turn over and cook for about a minute.

Keep cooked pancakes warm in a 250 degree oven until you’re ready to serve.

 

For peanut butter-filled pancakes

After the batter has been in the skillet for about a minute, add a tablespoon of peanut butter in the center. Continue as you would normally.

For candied bacon pancakes

The candied bacon needs to be made in advance, but you’ll probably be making candied bacon all the time once you try it.

After the batter has been in the skillet for about a minute, sprinkle about a tablespoon of candied bacon bits. Continue as you would normally.

For lemon goat cheese pancakes

Spoon three tablespoons of batter into another bowl and mix in about a tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese and a generous squeeze of lemon. Continue as you would normally.

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