Having become an ardent watcher of the Bon Appetit channel on YouTube in the recent months, I’ve been keeping a weather eye out for recipes that I feel would be good for me to try in my 1) tiny kitchen with my 2) not very well stocked pantry with my 3) limited tools with which to cook.
For example, I have no cast iron anything because my stove is electric and older than I am. Plus, the smoke detector in my apartment is hardwired into the electricity and is stupidly over-sensitive. How sensitive is it? It’ll chirp if I take too hot a shower. That’s how sensitive. So, anything that uses cast iron is out. I also don’t have a grill because they basically don’t let us have them anywhere near the building. As such, I’m a bit hand-tied when it comes to what I can make. However, the more I look, the more I find. You’ve possibly seen my Blackout Cake Attempt.
Anyway, enough of a preamble, we’re here to talk pancakes. Or, at least, pancake. One of the most-recent videos on the site is Carla making a giant Blueberry Pancake. (for the written recipe, click here) It uses only some mixing bowls and a single pan and it goes into the oven. These are all certainly things that exist in my even-Spartan-equipped kitchen and the ingredients can be sourced at even the most backward of grocery stores.
So, how did it go? Well, the directions are incredibly easy to follow. How can one mess up “add to bowl and stir”? I mean… I know it can be done, but this isn’t my first trip around a kitchen. So, that was certainly easy. Putting the whole thing in the pan and just letting it cook was also right up my alley.
Seriously, this recipe can be in even the most novice cook’s repertoire. There’s no tricky procedures. There’s no exotic gadgets. There’s no hard-to-find ingredients. The most difficult to find might be the corn meal, but seriously, that should be in most grocery stores.
I will say that, using electric as opposed to the gas of the BA Test Kitchen does give slightly different results. The pancake cooked more slowly for me. I kept it in the pan on the stovetop for 6 minutes. Then, I put it into the 375 degree oven.
The first time I took it out and depanned, it certainly looked done on the outside. But a first cut into it showed a little otherwise. There was some definite moisture in there still, beyond what should be in your average pancake.
You can see that I don’t have quite the browning along the edges that Carla’s has. So, back into the oven it went for another 5 minutes.
Upon taking it back out, this time it definitely seemed much more cooked.
You can see that I got nice distribution on the blueberries, though many did sink to the bottom. In the video, Carla doesn’t do the thing where you supposedly toss the blueberries in flour before adding to the batter. I’ve seen that in places like Alton Brown’s Blueberry Muffins recipe. I feel that might’ve helped here.
So, how was it? Well, it was served with room temperature butter and heated maple syrup and it was…
Yeah, there wasn’t really much to it. I had a friend over to try it along with me and we both agreed that the pancake, itself, seemed just sort of “there.” It was good when you had a bite with blueberry, since they were actually pretty good blueberries. But the pancake, itself, just sort of existed. However, neither of us could really say exactly -why- it was just sort of “meh.” Maybe a pinch more salt (I used the amount for called in the recipe)? We both thought that it was nice that the pancake wasn’t super-sweet. So, adding sugar wouldn’t’ve really done it for us.
I have to say that I did like the addition of the corn meal. This is the first pancake I’ve had that’d had that in there, and it certainly did give a lot of good texture. Many times, pancakes are just fluff and disintegrate in your mouth. These actually gave you a bit of chew which I appreciated.
So, yeah… not spectacular, not terrible. I had another slice later on for dinner and still felt much the same way. I will agree with Carla’s assessment that it’s still fine as leftovers. Regular pancakes can’t really boast that. They’re sort of an “eat it now or forever hold your peace” type of item. But this still tasted… there… later on.
Will I try it again? Possibly. As I said above, it’s certainly easy enough and uses everyday ingredients. But, at the moment, I still have literally half that thing sitting in my fridge.
Oh, and because I said I would: Photo Credits go to Judy Black.