This is a breakfast where Scotland meets America meets Canada.
Granny Wallace used to make this for my Dad when he was a little boy. She got the recipe from an Eric Milligan. My version is inspired by another Eric, my Dad. I hope he approves of this version. It has a lot to live up to.
SCOTCH PANCAKES, CRISPY SMOKED BACON AND CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP WITH STRAWBERRY AND CHERRY COMPOTE
Ingredients (so more-ish that this serves 2 hungry people but is enough for 4 if you are willing to share)
50g caster sugar
100g flour (plain or self-raising)
1 large free-range egg
30 – 50 ml milk
8 slices smoked back bacon
2 tsp creme fraiche
Sprinkle ground mixed spice
For the crispy bacon:
- This method of cooking makes lovely bacon which is crispy at the edges while maintaining the soft meaty centre and prevents the bacon getting frazzled and burnt.
- Line a baking tray with tin foil to catch the fat that drips from the bacon. Place the bacon slices on a wire rack and place on top of the baking tray.
- Put the bacon in the oven and then turn the oven on to 200 degrees celsius. Leave to cook for 17 to 20 minutes. Check on the bacon and as soon as it is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices and on how quickly your oven heats up so keep an eye on the bacon as it cooks.
For the pancakes:
- In the meantime, make the pancakes. Sieve the flour and sugar into a bowl.
- Next add the egg and mix. This will create a lumpy, floury mixture.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking as you do so. Add as much milk as is required until you get to the desired consistency. It should be a little thicker than the consistency of double cream.
- Heat the pan to make the pancakes. Granny Smith agrees that the key to a perfect pancake is getting the temperature of the pan right. The pan needs to be pretty hot but not smoking. Use a non-stick pan as this will help the pancakes to cook evenly and prevents the pancakes sticking to the pan. The first pancake is always over or under done so just use a little batter for the first time and use it to adjust the temperature. The pancakes should be a lovely golden colour so if it looks too pale, increase the temperature or if it looks a little too dark, decrease the temperature.
- I have made the pancakes quite large for this dish. Pour the batter on to the pan until you reach your desired size. Generally, the pancake is ready to be turned when bubbles start to form on the surface. When ready, turn and cook until the surface is golden brown. This takes about 2 minutes in total.
- Once ready, place the pancakes in between a clean tea towel to keep them warm until ready to serve.
For the compote:
- This isn’t a traditional compote because it doesn’t have a sugar syrup but I don’t think the dish needs any more sweetness when there are lashings of maple syrup.
- Remove the stalks and chop the strawberries into quarters. Remove the stones of the cherries and half. Divide the chopped fruit between the glasses.
- Top with a teaspoon of creme fraiche and then a sprinkle of mixed spice.
- I have used a slate to serve the dish but you can easily use a large plate. Place the compote and a small dish of extra maple syrup on the slate.
- Then layer the pancakes and bacon. First place one pancake down and top with two slices of bacon. Then another pancake and one slice of bacon. Then top with the remaining pancake and the final piece of bacon. Pour a little maple syrup over each layer.
- To finish, pour extra maple syrup on top along with a little curl of butter and watch the luscious buttery maple syrup drip down the stack.
The light pancakes, crispy smoked bacon, sweet maple syrup, intensely juicy cherries, sharp creme fraiche and hint of mixed spice makes this one seriously good breakfast.