I am a pancake purist. I don't want fruity toppings. I don't want them to have chocolate chips, heaven forbid, or swirls of whipped cream. When "Horton Hears a Who" came on film, there were non-stop commercials by IHOP for their multi-hued unnaturally colored stacks of IHOP WhoCakes. I found the commercials impossible to watch, so repellent was the site of a stack of cakes oozing blue goo.
I also dislike making pancakes, because I just SUCK at this task. I want them even toned, brown, and cooked throughout. I can't do this. When Robin Sue of Big Red Kitchen shared her tip of Pancake Bars, I was all over that. True, Pancake Bars lack the brown tone on each side, but the perfect symmetry of each bar makes them far and away better than my lame pancake results. Those, and Dutch Babies, are the way to go in my house.
Still, I was game to try Ina Garten's Sour Cream Banana Pancakes as this month's Barefoot Bloggers challenge. This selection was by Something Sweet by Karen. Very few of Ina's recipes thus far have disappointed me, and perhaps it was time to break out of my pancake rut. I knew I wouldn't do a good job and I was sorely tempted to bake them into bars (and next time, I definitely will), but for this outing I was true to the recipe in every respect (save splitting it half so I only got six small pancakes to play with).
I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the slightly sweet and sour tang of the pancake itself, with a bite of lemon zest. I'd certainly make the pancake itself, without the banana, as a light and refreshing alternative to buttermilk pancakes. I found the banana bits melted into hot fruit and were very pleasant.
So. On with the show of how much I suck at making pancakes.
Fine Dice on the Bananas.
Sifting the dry ingredients. I added a touch of ground vanilla bean and nutmeg.
I also suck at photography, if that wasn't apparent. Combining sour cream, milk, egg, vanilla and lemon zest.
This is where it gets dicey. I have a great, heavy, flat cast-iron skillet. I added the amount of butter called for, ladled on the batter, and topped with diced banana, and waited for failure.
I didn't have to wait long. See this? I hate this kind of pancake. This is not edible in my book, even if its cooked. Bah. Hmph. Dang it all.This is a LITTLE better, but not much. I'm going to take all the butter out and fry it dry and see what happens.
Now THAT's what I'm talking about. This, without butter in the pan, turned out even and brown. THIS I can live with, and eat. Now I'm happy. :)
I topped with additional sliced bananas as directed, and drizzled with Maple Butter. I used Maple Butter in place of maple syrup (there is no actual butter or dairy in this product -- it's 100% Maple, just spun much like spun honey, which becomes white and solid). I heart Maple Butter.