When I was a kid, pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday if you were the religious type, was a day of excitement. Parents (my mum especially) often hoped it would pass unnoticed, my mum had better things to do than make pancakes for four kids, plus her and my dad, but the nature of kids meant that somewhere in school someone would find out and the whole school would get excited.
We were not a religious family, so never gave anything up for the Lent period after, we just wanted pancakes, thin, soft, covered with lemon and sugar (as was tradition) and would pester my mum for days until she would eventually relent, promising them at the weekend and giving in to the inevitable. A Saturday evening spent hovering by the cooker, frying pan in hand, four eager faces waiting at the table.
And the inevitable fights over who used the last of the Jif lemon.
Now as an adult, and since the gradual invasion of the American style pancake breakfast, I’m a firm believer that pancakes are for whenever. Thin crisp crepes, thick fluffy buttermilk pancakes, breakfasts of protein pancakes. I love them. I’m kind of thankful for the long held British tradition of ‘pancakes once a year’.
This year, I wanted thick fluffy pancakes, a little bacon and something a bit different. Surprisingly (if you have been reading this blog at an point before, then note that this may have been said with a touch of dry sarcasm) Jim Beam came to my rescue. Specifically their Special Edition Jim Beam Maple.
Oh yes, not just content with making a Bourbon whiskey that’s known everywhere, and is seen on many a back bar, they decided to add maple syrup to it. The result is the cinnamon, vanilla, oak notes of Bourbon, skilfully mixed with the warm, sweet, comforting notes of the syrup. It’s a very good thing.
Jim Beam have created a cocktail, just for Pancake Day (the recipe is at the bottom of the post), but to me, maple syrup is part of the natural pairing of a thick, fluffy pancake – that and blueberries, and if you’re me, bacon. And this got my mind turning.
So, in addition I bring you my new favourite pancakes.
- 130ml Milk
- 130g Self Raising Flour (a sponge flour is best)
- 1 Large egg
- 2tbsp Caster sugar
- 2tbsp Melted butter/oil (vegetable/rapeseed)
- Pinch of salt
- 200g Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 200ml Jim Beam Maple
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- Butter for cooking
- Put the syrup ingredients into a pan on the hob on a medium heat.
- Once it comes up to the boil, let it reduce by 1/3.
- Once reduced turn off the heat and leave to cool.
- In the meantime, sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar and salt.
- In a separate container beat the egg, milk and butter/oil.
- Mix the two together, beating well to incorporate any larger lumps.
- Leave to one side and heat a non-stick pan.
- Using a thick nob of butter (or paper towel) coat the pan in a very thin coating of fat.
- Add a single ladle full of batter.
- Bubbles will form. Leave until bubbles are all over the pancake, and flip with a spatula.
- Leave for one more minute then remove from the pan.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Serve with generous helpings of the syrup, bacon, ice cream, or whatever else takes your fancy.
- The pancakes are rather thick, but that is intentional. The sponge flour gives them a real cake-like consistency.
- The syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
50ml Jim Beam Maple Bourbon
25ml BOLS Triple Sec Liqueur
50ml Fresh Lemon Sour
6 fresh blueberries
Garnish: Lime wedges, fresh blueberries
In a mixing glass muddle the blueberries, add all remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with lime and fresh blueberries.
And yet, I’m still not done. Oh, no. Sorry. Still one more thing. Do you fancy making either of the above? Would you like a bottle of Jim Beam Maple for yourself?
Entry is easy peasy. Just comment below to be entered. Full terms and conditions below. The competition will end on Friday at 12pm.
- Terms and Conditions:
- This giveaway is open to residents of the United Kingdom only.
- You must be aged over 18 or over to enter.
- The giveaway is open from 12pm 9 February 2016 and will close at 12pm, Friday 12 February 2016. The draw will then take place and the winner notified (within 24 hours) and the item posted as soon as possible following notification and receipt of address.
- The giveaway will be picked at random (via random.org).
- If the winner does not respond to contact within 28 days I reserve the right to redraw.
- I will contact the winner by both email and via Twitter if the twitter handle is detailed in the entry comment.