canadian pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries

How to make Canadian pancakes

Pancake Day, a date circled, underlined, and celebrated on just about everyone’s calendar such is the universal love for these delicious slices of heaven. With this in mind, we thought who better to share a recipe than our very own Executive Chef, Christopher Archambault. While pancakes might be a treat here in the UK, in Canada they are enjoyed at breakfast and brunch, draped in sumptuous maple syrup and served with a side of cured bacon.

So, with a nod to his homeland, here is Chris’s recipe for a beloved slice of Canadian indulgence. Every day is pancake day in Canada, and the humble pancake is Canadian. And yes people, there are rules…. Go big or go home.

christopher archambault headland head chef profile shot

Ingredients

  • 285gm plain flour, 100gm caster sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, Good pinch salt, 500ml buttermilk, Butter, Pure Canadian maple syrup.

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine eggs and buttermilk.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients to the well. Use the spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet, then stir until no flour streaks remain but there are still lumps. Do not over-mix.
  4. Heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat and lightly butter the surface. Ladle the pancake batter lightly onto the pan and cook for a few minutes until you see bubbles form at the top and just begin to pop. This is the time to flip.  Cook for another one to two minutes on the other side.
  5. Serve immediately.
canadian pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries

Can you make pancakes without buttermilk?

  • Mixing milk and vinegar or lemon juice just won’t give you the proper consistency or zing. It’s got to be buttermilk. If you’re struggling to purchase it, look harder.
  • Pancake batter requires sugar. It’s necessary. Oddly, without it, the disparity between no sugar and the sweet blast of the maple syrup is too blatant. You need this melding of the two differing sweeteners.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and then slowly add the wet, there must be no over-mixing. No hand blenders, just a gentle combining of the two. Lumps are fine. They tell the maker that the batter has not been over-beaten.

How to cook pancakes with butter

  • Cook with butter. Proper butter, no oil or butter substitute. A good blob, evenly melted, hot but not smoking.
  • Use a non-stick pan.
  • Use a good-sized ladle, or even an ice cream scoop to gently add the batter to the pan.
  • Pouring the batter from the bowl or a jug from a height will only cause you to lose precious air. Gently ladle the batter onto the hot pan for best results.
  • Flip the pancake when the bubbles start to pop. Use a spatula, not tongs. A couple of minutes cooking on the flip side will usually suffice. Serve immediately or cool and freeze for a later date.
  • Pancakes do freeze relatively well, although nothing beats a fresh cake.

Now eating. A respectable stack is three large pancakes, but for the recommended visual impact I would insist on six. First, place one pancake on your plate and spread it thinly with butter, then stab it vigorously with a fork a few times to aid the essential maple syrup saturation. (To discuss any other forms of syrup substitute would render me susceptible to the Canadian Maple Syrup Act of 1901, for which lengthy prison sentences have been known to be bestowed.) Syrup the pancake liberally. Repeat process five more times. Lastly, top your stack with six to eight slices of crispy smoked streaky bacon. Serve with a large glass of very cold milk.

When the stack is finished, spend a good 15 minutes in a meditative food coma state going through a series of body stretches. It is essential to work the pancakes into all parts of your body to aid movement and equilibrium.

Why is Canada known for maple syrup?

Much has been said about syrup. Many battles have been waged. Suffice to say, the best syrup is Canadian due to their stringent grading and regulations, and 80% of the world’s production originates in Quebec. It is down to personal preference as to what type you use. The darker the syrup, the bigger and more complex the flavour. The lighter the syrup, the more refined and pure. This one, I’ll leave up to you.

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