If you think you know everything about pancakes, my Famous Friday subject this week, Sarabeth Levine, could teach you a thing or two about this classic breakfast treat. Then again, she could probably teach you everything you need to know about all things breakfast and brunch. In case you're Sarabeth-clueless, you should know that she's not only the author of the amazing cookbooks Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook and Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours but also a legendary jam maker and the owner and driving force behind Sarabeth's, the incredibly successful breakfast/brunch friendly restaurants with on-site bakeries and locations ranging from NYC to Key West to Japan. So when I say the lady knows breakfast, you know I'm not exaggerating! These flaps are her twist on ordinary pancakes--they're thin but still fluffy, easy to roll up and stuff with any number of fillings and a thing of beauty to behold. Just in time for those upcoming weekend brunches!
If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day and you have a chance to eat at one of Sarabeth's restaurants, you're guaranteed to leave full and deliriously happy. There are so many things to choose from, like fabulous omelets that come with a choice of homemade muffins or croissants, dreamy lemon ricotta pancakes, toasted coconut waffles and a terrific selection of salads and sandwiches if you're in more of a lunchy mood. And I can personally vouch for a lot of these offerings as I was there a few years ago with my mom, sisters and daughter and we ordered lots of different stuff and had a big old girls-day sharing food fest! A lot of the restaurant recipes and many more are featured in Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook, which by the way, is full of gorgeous drool-worth photos so you can make them any time you want.
Now on to these Flaps, which are a fun way to change up the pancake routine. In the book, Sarabeth suggests serving them with a little butter and brown sugar which if you've ever been to Paris and ordered a sugar crepe from a street vendor, has a very similar taste. The heat of the pancake caramelizes the sugar slightly! Divine!
But these are also really wonderful filled with a variety of things like peanut butter and banana (my husband's favorite) or some blackberry jam. And no matter the filling, they're sort of cakey but light at the same time with a lot of extra golden surface yumminess--more than ordinary pancakes since they're thinner and flatter!
Well, now that we're covered on what we're eating for breakfast tomorrow, can the weekend, please, please start already?!! We all so need a break around here, right?!! Hope you have a fun one with your family, friends and some good food and addition to these Flaps, take a look at some Sarabeth recipes--I guarantee you won't be disappointed. I'll be back next week with some more summery offerings as we (gulp!) head into the unofficial start of summer--Memorial Day weekend!! How is that even possible?!!
Sarabeth's Flaps-Famous Fridays
Makes about a dozen, enough for 4-6 people
Prep Time: About 15 minutes to make the basic pancake mix and then another 4-5 to make that into flap batter: Cook Time: 5 minutes per flap
To make the Basic Pancake Mix (half this if you don't want leftover mix around)
4 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into little cubes and chilled
For the Flap batter
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons superfine sugar (you can make your won by pulverizing it in a food processor)
2 cups Basic Pancake Mix
Melted butter or oil for greasing the skillet
Softened butter for spreading on pancakes (optional)
Brown sugar for sprinkling on pancakes (optional)
Fresh fruit, peanut butter, syrup to fill or top the flaps with (optional)
1. To make the basic pancake mix: Using an electric mixer, blend the flour, baking powder and salt together on medium-low speed for about 1 minute. Add the butter and use your fingers to toss it around until the cubes are coated with the flour mixture. Turn the mixer up to medium and mix for about 10 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. You don't want any little pieces of butter to be separate and distinct. You can either use the mixture right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to one month to have handy whenever you feel like making pancakes.
2. To make the flaps: Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk them gently. Then, whisk in the milk, buttermilk, superfine sugar and vanilla until just blended. Don't over mix.
3. Place the 2 cups of pancake mix into a large bowl and make a deep well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into it and whisk together until smooth.
4. Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat and brush with a little bit of melted butter. Use a ladle or transfer the batter to a pitcher and pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet, tilting the pan side to side so that the mixture coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the bottom of the flap is just beginning to get brown. Use a spatula to carefully lift the flap and turn it over. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until that side gets lightly browned as well. Serve immediately, topping the flap with butter, fruit, brown sugar, peanut butter etc. and folding it gently in half. If you're making these for a large crowd, you can make them and keep them warm in a low oven and then serve them all at one time.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook by Sarabeth Levine.