Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup

When we have pancakes during our breakfast-for-dinner nights, a side of crispy bacon slices is never far behind. However, we picked another side to go with tonight's pancakes because the bacon managed to work itself right into them, creating these Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup!

To make sure the syrup would be ready as soon as the pancakes came off the griddle, we tuned our attention to making that before we got involved with the batter. Using a half cup of apple cider to start, we sweetened the pot with a bit of brown sugar, then tossed in lemon juice for brightness and just enough cornstarch to tighten the cider enough so it will grab onto the pancakes. As soon as the cider bubbles, you'll see the cornstarch has done its job as the syrup will thicken quickly - set the pot aside until you are just about ready to eat.

The batter for the pancakes utilizes soft whole-wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour to bump up the nutrition, but of course, using entirely all-purpose flour would be fine. Because we're juicing up the batter with diced apple (Honey Crisp is this case) and drizzling the sweet syrup on top, there is only a single tablespoon of brown sugar added into the dry ingredients, which helps add to the color and structure of the pancakes.

Tangy buttermilk, along with an egg and egg white, moistened the flour mixture to make the thick batter, which was then ready for the apple and crumbled crisped bacon. Because the batter is on the thick side, once you dollop the batter onto the hot griddle, you'll need to take the back of a spoon or spatula and gently work the batter out into a rough three inch round as they won't spread out enough by themselves. When you get your last pancakes on, nudge the heat back on underneath the pot of syrup and it will be just a minute or two before it comes back to temperature for a warm, shiny topping.

If you want to be extra decadent (and perhaps a little naughty), you can use the leftover bacon grease to lube the griddle top, but we went with a drizzle of canola oil to be good. The pancakes themselves are not as airy and light with the weightier add-ins, but that isn't to say they were brick heavy. What we ended up with was hearty rounds that had an intriguing salty/sweet bite, which then led to a whisper of smoke from the bacon that really drew us in. The syrup really hit the spot, but while Jeff thought it just right, I found it a bit on the lemon-y side - if you're sensitive to that, cut the juice down to a teaspoon or a touch less.


  1. Sounds good to me to eat this for Dinner.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Nice recipe as usual Joe. Those sound like a perfect kind of breakfast.

  3. Helene - Merry Christmas to you!

    Kelly - Thanks! We had some leftovers at breakfast and they were just as good!