Monday, November 8, 2010

David Eyre's Pancake Recipe Adapted for 21st Century Diets

The last few nights I've been reading my hot off the press copy of Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century before bed, and calling my mother in the morning to quiz her about her recipe collection and dinners she made for us growing up -- the one recipe that she was sure would be in Hesser's book is Craig Claiborne's 1966 David Eyre's Pancake Recipe. Huh? Not until she described the golden brown eggy and oven-baked pancake that puffed up like a souffle and was topped with lemon and confectioners sugar did I know what she meant. I love David Eyre's Pancake recipe!

Not only is the recipe in the new book but it's gotten a lot of attention from food bloggers (and their mothers). In thinking about Craig Claiborne, I wondered if he were alive today would he, like me, been a lighthearted locavore and made his famous David Eyre's pancake recipe using locally grown New York State wheat and crispy, just picked fall fruit. 

I was able to make this recipe with almost all local ingredients, replacing the traditional lemon topping with homemade apple sauce. Except for cinnamon, which to me goes better with apples than traditional nutmeg, all the ingredients in my adaptation are from local farms.  With quince and apples in season, I made the apple sauce using both fruits and sweetened it with honey to replace the confectioners sugar.

Quince and Apples from ChubbyBunny CSA

Skin-On Apple and Quince Sauce with a dash of Cinnamon
And, I substituted nutritious whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose flour and used 1% milk instead of whole milk taking out a few calories.

Today, I suspect Claiborne would have used a lot less butter as his 1966 version calls for a half a stick!. Personally, I found two tablespoons to be more than enough and next time I make it will experiment with even less butter and hope the pancake doesn't stick to the pan. And reduce the calories by 200.

After 20 minutes the oven-baked pancake was fluffed and puffed. And, just like a souffle, it had fallen in just  a few minutes.

As a special (and non-locavore) treat, I will try the traditional recipe from 1966 recipe from the New York Times which calls for all purpose flour, confectioners sugar and lemon juice because the combination of flavors are so divine -- I LOVE LEMONS. And, I will still reduce the butter to at most 2 tablespoons! 

My "healthier" version is chock full of fruit and fiber and uses low fat milk but is still more caloric than my typical breakfast (thankfully a lot of butter stays in the pan).  I can't wait to make it for my kids to see if they like my version of the David Eyre pancake as much as my mother says I loved the ones that she made in the 60s.

Thanks, Mom. 

Thanks, Amanda.

David Eyers Pancake with whole wheat flour and a whole lot less calories

Served with quince apple cinnamon compote. This recipe would be delicious with a strawberry or cherry compote next spring, and blueberries or beach plums in the summer, or pears in the Fall. Of course, winter citrus -- orange, lemon or even lime -- would divine. For me this omelette-like oven-baked pancake is a keeper no matter what time of year it is. It's that much better knowing I using New York State ingredients.

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). In a mixing bowl, add flour, milk, eggs and cinnamon and gently mix ingredients to form a slightly lumpy pancake batter. Heat butter in a 12-inch oven proof skillet (preferably one with rounded sides for easy removal). Pour pancake batter into bubbling hot butter and place in oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and puffed up. Serve with quince apple compote (recipe below) or any heated fruit butter or use the traditional topping of lemon juice and confectioners sugar.

Quince-Apple Compote with Honey

1 Quince, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces, peel on
1 apple, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces, peel on
1/2 cup of water, or more as needed
1 Tablespoon honey

Over a low heat in a heavy sauce pan, add quince, apple and water. Stir fruit every 5 minutes or so until the fruit loses its firmness and turns into fruit butter. The quince takes longer than the apple so be patient. If the pan becomes dry and the fruit is sticking to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. The amount of water will depend on the water content of the fruit. When cooked, remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Mix in the honey right before serving.

Whole wheat pastry flour -- Cayuga Pure Organics Farmer Ground near Ithaca, NY (available at NYC Greenmarkets and select CSAs)
Milk and Butter -- Ronnybrook Farms Ancramdale, NY (available at NYC Greenmarkets and select retailers in the region)
Eggs, Quince, Apples -- Chubby Bunny CSA
Honey -- The Hamptons Honey Company (available city-wide at select retailers and at farm stands and farmers markets in the Hamptons) 
Cinnamon -- Penzeys Spice Market in Grand Central Station or online (top quality spices - cinnamon imported from Ceylon)

1 comment:

Imwaytoobusy said...

Thanks for the Foodbuzz add! Great photos in this post!