Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pop up pancakes

Just a quick post as I try out this simple but unlikely cross between popovers and pancakes. I think I saw this as a guest post on the TheKitchn blog but it comes from originally.

Pop Up Pancake Recipe - makes 24 muffins or fills a 9×13 baking pan

* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup flour
* 6 eggs
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* dash salt

0. Preheat oven at 400*

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Let rest for a few minutes for the flour to hydrate.

2. Grease a muffin or popover tin. Pour batter into cups.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

and that's it.

The outside looks good, but the inside is a weird rubbery flan-like texture. Something's gone horribly wrong here.

Ah, I see what happened. I halved the recipe, but didn't trust that I halved the number of pancakes made too. Because who would make 24 pancakes? (Yes, I know. A family with four kids or two teenagers.) That means I filled six indentations on the muffin tin mostly full instead of twelve shallowly. I filled it to the level I did for proper popovers which turned out fine. The recipe didn't specify any level in particular so I just assumed to do it that way.

That's why, when I'm not feeling especially lazy, I try to be explicit and precise when I write up my recipes. You have to give your readers safeguards against both your and their assumptions. I think it goes back to an exercise my class did back in sixth grade. We had to write up instructions on how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then the other kids would follow them to the letter while deliberately misinterpreting every ambiguity. While willful misinterpretation is rather perverse, if you've ever written instructions for others to follow you know that the disparate interpretations of the readers are plenty to screw things up even with everyone well-intentioned. That's a good lesson to learn early.

All that said, I can't fault Marie who wrote the original recipe. If I hadn't screwed up my halving, I would have been fine.

So back into the oven for another twenty minutes. Still not done, but getting closer. I'm going to keep cooking these things until either they become edible or the smoke alarm goes off. Another twenty minutes and now the outsides are crisp enough that the pancakes can't shrink back down. I crack one open and find that it's nicely light and airy, but still just a little too moist and eggy. Another eight minutes then.

OK, that should do it. Crisp on the outside (for the moment. This is summer in Miami so they'll be getting soggy soon enough.), airy on the inside with thin strands of soft but still kind of rubbery and eggy dough. Ah, screw it. I think this recipe may have been doomed from the start from the volume measurements. The texture seemed a little thin at the start so I should have added a bit more flour. I don't think I'm a big enough fan of either pancakes or popovers to bother trying this again, but if you do, do please let me know how it turns out.

1 comment:

kat said...

Hmmm, they look an awful lot like popovers to me which I love so we'll probably just stick to those ;)