Sunday, July 6, 2014

It Might as Well Be Now and French Toast Crepes

Dear Joey,

Well, seeing as my attempt at an afternoon nap is shot, and seeing as I am sick of doing housework this weekend, and seeing as I've hit a plateau in caring about the book I'm reading (which really is good, but I've walked away from it so many times in the past week that I've forgotten just how good it is), it might as well be now that I mention these little gems before the urge to do so fades.

We tend to do pancakes on Saturdays around here, but yesterday you graciously let me sleep in well past the breakfast hour (in other words, I got to sleep through the typical 6:00 am wake up call of hungry little girls). When I finally emerged at 7:50, it felt far too late in the day to put effort into making pancakes. The better part of our morning was gone by then anyway. Besides, you and the girls had already eaten bowls of cereal by then, so the girls were satisfied.

But of course, after you headed back to bed for a mid-morning nap while I sat down to a cup of tea and the last bit of that Chocolate Banana Bread I'd made earlier this week, those girls were practically stealing my breakfast off of my plate, acting as if they hadn't been fed in days. Without much to go around, I felt like I should have put in the effort to make those darn pancakes after all. Tomorrow, I promised myself.

And of course that self-made promise was partly out of necessity, as our pantry stores are at the point where creativity will be key to making them last until our next trip to the grocery store. With speckled bananas to spare and our stock of alternative flours diminished, our new favorite banana pancakes would have to be made at some point. Unless I threw the bananas into the freezer. (But then what would we eat for breakfast?)

Anyway, this morning Addie was up at 6:00 as usual, and I somehow managed to whip together a handful of ingredients to make these bare-cupboard friendly pancake/crepe-like things. And you know what? I'm going to start calling them crepes because they're much closer to a crepe in character than they are pancakes. And honestly, I bet they'd be perfect rolled up with sliced bananas, strawberries, and/or chocolate or and topped with some whipped cream or powdered sugar (but then they wouldn't be so bare-cupboard friendly, would they?).

This batch was perfect. Perhaps the best I've ever made. They tasted just like the crispy, sweet crust of classic french toast. And wouldn't you know it, after all that, neither of the girls were interested in them for breakfast until you got up and started munching on them. By then, two hours later, they were cold.  I can't win. But I promise these French Toast Crepes (as I'm now officially calling them), do win when they're fresh from the griddle.

Maybe next time I'll make them just for myself, stuff them with fruit and chocolate and slather them in whipped cream and see if anyone cares to join me. (I know you will, at least.)


French Toast Crepes
I admit I did not come up with the idea for these on my own. I first read about making pancakes out of pureed bananas and eggs on Shauna Niequist's Facebook feed. Until then, I hadn't heard of them. But apparently they're all the rage and you can find many versions of them. Hers are the simplest: pureed bananas and eggs whisked together and cooked like pancakes. Joey and I liked them well enough, but Joey suggested tinkering around until we found the right concoction to make them taste a little fancier. Cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt did the trick, along with cooking them in melted butter. 

3-4 very ripe bananas (3 if they're large; 4 if they're on the smaller side)
6 large eggs (or 8 medium eggs)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, but they'll have a bit more body if you use it)
Unsalted butter, for cooking

First, puree the bananas until smooth - no lumps, please! (I use this immersion blender and it makes my life so much easier. I highly recommend it.)

Next, add the eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add in the baking soda (if using) and mix well. The batter should look like a thin pancake batter, but a bit thicker than traditional crepe batter.

Heat up your griddle and dab with unsalted butter, about a half tablespoon per batch or so. (Use as much or as little as you like, but the more you use the more it tastes like french toast in my opinion.)

Pour the batter onto your hot griddle and cook on medium-high heat. I usually use about 1/4 cup per crepe, but you may certainly make them as big or small as you like. Cook as you would a pancake--look for the sides to firm up a bit, and for bubbles to rise up a bit in the center. They won't bubble as much as traditional pancakes, so watch them carefully. Flip when they're golden and cook for another two minutes or so.

Serve as you like. We like them right off the griddle as a quick hand-held breakfast, but I'm serious when I say they'd be amazing stuffed with something sweet and topped off with something even sweeter.


Steph said...

I have made a very similar pancake recipe using just eggs, bananas, and cinnamon, or sometimes I add in raw oats for a little extra oomph.


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