Jesse’s the king of weekend breakfasts. He makes the world’s best oatmeal, full of raisins and fruit and cinnamon and marinated to a thick congealed perfection that sounds gross because of my word choice but is in fact sublime. He makes omelets with an array of ingredients and fillings that should constitute overkill but is instead harmonious and exciting. And he makes pancakes.
A few years ago, they were banana pancakes, made with the Jack Johnson song of the same name obligatorily playing in the background. I ate them with peanut butter and swooned.
But then I went gluten free.
Since then, we’ve tried other pancake recipes… but here’s the deal. I eat a carby breakfast and not 90 minutes later, I’m a ravenous fucking mountain lion. My body cries for protein and the hunger nuke that detonates in the kitchen sometimes takes out innocent civilians. Jesse, having been a casualty of this post-carb terror, had written off the pancake as a viable breakfast strategy… until a few weeks ago, when we tried an almond meal pancake recipe from some paleo diet blog and didn’t get hungry again for 6 whole hours. Because we had just eaten the equivalent of like 90 almonds or something.
Then last weekend Jesse made buckwheat pancakes using this Mayo Clinic recipe and we really dug the funky, slightly bitter flavor that the buckwheat contributed to the mix. But I still wanted to take hostages 2 hours after I ate mine. So this weekend, Jesse riffed on the recipe and I have a feeling he’s gonna be safe. At least until lunch.
Jesse’s Prairie Hipster Flapjacks
I asked Jesse to name his creation, and this is what he came up with. Says Jesse, “’Prairie’ because they’re rugged and hardy and ‘hipster’ because they’ve got a lot of nuance going on that you probably wouldn’t understand. Also they’re gluten free.” They’re not really cake-y and pillowy, so if that’s what you’re into you may need to look elsewhere. But I took a bite of the crunchy golden lacy edges and proclaimed them the best pancakes I’d ever tasted. We top ours with butter and real maple syrup (though sometimes I miss that shit in the bottle with the little magic color-changing microwave sensor on it).
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 cup almond milk (plain or vanilla—you could use any kind of milk here, probably, but this is just what we keep on hand)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ½ cup cornmeal, medium grind
- ½ cup almond meal/flour (we used the Bob’s Red Mill stuff)
- ¾ cup gluten free baking flour blend of choice (ours had equal parts white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup plain sparkling water
- 1.5 cups mostly-thawed frozen blueberries
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract, and almond milk together.
In a larger bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the egg mixture and combine thoroughly. Then add the sparkling water and stir until just combined.
Place a nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Add a generous amount of canola oil—this’ll help to create lacy crispy edges.
When the pan is just ready, swirl the blueberries into the pancake batter.
Scoop about half a cup of pancake batter into the pan. Cook until the top surface of the pancake is bubbly and the edges are beginning to brown (2-3 minutes). Flip and cook until the bottom is browned and the pancake is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. For consecutive pancakes, you’ll have to stir the batter before scooping as the coarser grains and the blueberries will sink.
Recipe makes 5 giant pancakes that just about cover the entire surface of a 9” pan. The batter holds well in the fridge for a day or three.
Other ideas: Swap out the blueberries for a couple sliced bananas. Skip the fruit entirely and add cinnamon and ginger or pumpkin pie spice to the batter. Make ‘em plain as a jaybird is naked and slap a runny fried egg on top.