Have you ever had a dish at a restaurant or a café that you just can’t get out of your head? And months or even years later, you still find yourself thinking about it? This recipe is inspired by one of those. It must have been at least 3 years ago, perhaps even more, that the boy and I had a lovely brunch at The Book Kitchen in Surry Hills. It was a lovely spot, always busy on the weekends and a great little spot for breakfast or lunch.
I had the date and fig pikelets, which were served with sweetened ricotta, poached rhubarb and pears. It was the most perfect brunch you ever did see, and it tasted even better. Ever since then I have wanted to try recreating the recipe at home, but only now have I actually gotten around to doing it.
I think everyone should have a great base recipe for pancakes in their repertoire, because from there they can be adapted in almost any way you like. Throw in some blueberries, strawberries or mashed banana, or even some chocolate chips for a decadent breakfast. Perhaps play around with the flours – maybe try some buckwheat flour or even almond meal for a more wholesome start to the day.
My usual recipe is so simple, but this one has some beaten egg whites, which does add to the washing up, but give you a really beautiful fluffy pancake. I loved the addition of dates and figs, which when warm have a jam-like texture inside the pancake. It was a really great breakfast on a lazy long weekend morning.
Date and Fig Pancakes
Inspired by The Book Kitchen, Surry Hills
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller
Makes about 12-15 pancakes
• 60g butter, plus extra for cooking
• 450ml buttermilk
• 3 eggs, separated
• 300g (2 cups) plain flour
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• ¼ cup dried figs, roughly chopped
• ¼ cup dates, roughly chopped
Melt 60g butter in a small saucepan over low heat, cool slightly, then combine in a large bowl with buttermilk and egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
Sift over flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon fine salt, mix until smooth and combined (do not overwork). Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a separate large bowl until firm peaks form (2-3 minutes), then fold into flour mixture. Gently mix in figs and dates.
Melt 10g butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add 1/4 cupfuls of batter, allowing room for it to spread. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and edges are golden (1-2 minutes)
Turn with a wide spatula and cook until pancake is firm and base is golden (1-2 minutes), transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup and butter.