There are some recipes where repetition, or longevity, mean that they achieve “off by heart” status, no longer requiring reference to the cookbook – in this case I think it was the ubiquitous Good, Cheap Cookbook that has now sadly fallen apart.
In the olden days – when the kids were all at school and I was a stay-at-home mum this was one of those great recipes that I could whip up when they came home from school and let me feel like some sort of freakish super-mum.
These days it’s morphed into flapjack style pancakes for lazy weekend mornings, (now made by Rick) achieving new heights when I made them whilst we were camping for Nick’s birthday, served with the requested raspberry butter (a la Fireworks Café).
But, in my capacity as an assistant leader for Saints Plus (our church’s Sunday School group for kids in Year 6 – Year 8), I thought it would be fun to have a Masterchef style pikelet cook-off. Fortunately on the night, there were 6 kids – three girls and three boys. They were separated into two groups, strictly by gender of course.
After encouraging the boys by informing them that all the best chefs in the world were men, both teams managed to be quiet long enough for me to tell them the ingredients. The boys started well, but perhaps slightly overshot the mark with a giant pikelet, which then turned into something resembling “The Blob”.
The girls meanwhile were fashioning piping bags out of foil (all they could find), creating perfect circles and cute heart shapes and plating up their pikelets like something from, well… MasterChef.
So the winners were (taking into consideration team work, cleanliness & tidiness of work space, presentation and above all taste) Team Girl!
Of course, the winner on the night was the pikelet with lashings of jam and before I could stop BOTH teams, some extra sugar sprinkled on top!
So what’s your favourite “off-by-heart” recipe? If you send me the recipe, I’ll try it out and let others know all about it!
Recipe for never-fail pikelets:
2 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup sugar (caster if you have it)
½ cup milk (add more if necessary)
30 g melted butter (optional – makes the surface of the pikelets softer)
Extra butter for frying
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Leave to rest if you have the time.
Heat a frypan until the butter sizzles (but does not brown). Add spoonfuls of mix to the frypan, well spaced.
Turn over when bubbles burst on the top.
Remove when golden brown and repeat until all the mixture is used up.
Serve with: jam, cream, maple syrup, lemon juice and sugar or my personal favourite, fresh seasonal fruit (think mango, strawberries, banana, passionfruit) and yoghurt.
Add frozen blueberries to the mix just before cooking for blueberry pikelets.
Add grated apple to the mix or, finely slice apple, fry slightly in the butter, then pour the batter over the top. Serve with maple syrup.
For a savoury variation, omit the sugar and add corn (tinned or fresh), diced spring onion, grated zucchini and grated cheese. The mixture should still be able to hold together. Serve these fritters with bacon, caramelised onion or tomato relish – good enough for breakfast or dinner!
This was an experimental venture, and I was camping at the time, so measurements are a little flexible. When I added the raspberries, it looked like brains as the butter/ sugar mix separated, now that I beat the butter/sugar/ raspberries with the conveniences of a modern kitchen, this doesn’t happen!
125g butter – unsalted is best if you have it
100g caster sugar
150g frozen raspberries
Beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy, then beat in defrosted, drained raspberries. Adjust raspberries & sugar to taste. Serve dollops on warm pancakes.