Thursday, January 8, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

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.

About this challenge: The Barefoot Bloggers join forces and cook or bake recipes by Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten each month, chosen in order by members, and present them for discussion on two Thursdays each month. Hungry? Please join us at the table!


  1. Thanks for welcoming me to the group. I could not flip pancakes even if my life depended on it. haha. But then again those pancakes were really good even if i ended up with some burnt ones. Now your pancakes slathered with maple butter are absolutely divine.

  2. See! Success! I'm still cracking up from the Horton Pancake poem. I told my friend Ross (who came for my disaster last night) that I would make them again and he said, "Without the Lemon... right?" The Husband seconded the lemon request.


  3. your post made me laugh, because i too commiserate with pancake failure which kind of pushed me to choose this one out of sheer insanity. your third try looks like you went professional. :) maple butter... mmmm. and seriously, those horton pancakes? is that some kind of joke photo or is that what was really being served up? unbelievable!

  4. Those pancakes topped with maple butter and bananas look so good!

  5. Love that maple butter. Nice tutorial.

  6. Your pancakes turned out perfectly. Now you've got me wanting to search the markets for maple butter. It sounds cool. I also paln on checking out those pancake bars!

  7. I, too, have a pancake making phobia. But my bf loves them, so I do make an attempt from time to time.
    I've been a fan of apple butter for years, but I don't think I've ever seen maple butter. I will seek it looks delicious!
    Glad that your back "on the grid." I enjoy your blog.

  8. That Horton pancake poem rocks!

    I am such a big sucker for banana pancakes. Betty Rosbottom has a good one for double banana pancakes that we LOVE.

    *drool* -- getting hungry just thinking about it.

  9. Glad you are back!

    I think the pancakes look delish! gotta love that Ina, she has never let me down.

  10. Welcome back on the "grid". You were missed. Your photos are just fine. Keep up the good work.

  11. Kate, your pancakes look amazing! I can taste them from here. :-)

  12. I am very impressed by your even brown pancakes! Glad you enjoyed them.