I mean it. Seriously. I can look at this recipe and wonder what is so magical about it but maybe that’s the magic. Nothing especially unique but when all brought together the magic does happen. It flies in the face of most pancake conventions too since the mixture is not only made in a blender but it is blended thoroughly, really thoroughly! Yet, time after time, year after year, dare I say decade after decade, it is hands down just the best. Just the right texture, just fluffy enough but with some substance and just the right amount of tang to actually deliver a flavor, not simply a vehicle for a bunch of syrup! They really are the BEST Buttermilk Pancakes. Ever. Evah.
I have never and won’t start now to dredge you into the details of my marriage or my totally cantankerous divorce except I will say this. It was a long time ago. The woman who decided that my husband was fair game will always be on my shit list no matter that my children think I should ‘let it go.’ I long ago decided that the one thing I would hold onto as a legacy of those 20 years would be my father-in-law’s recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes. I mean I needed something good from that effort right? And these are that!
My pancake experience throughout my childhood and in my own young adult kitchen had been Bisquick-centric. Until the weekend that I traveled to my then boyfriend’s parent house for the first time (me from St. Louis and he from a tiny town in Indiana). That one day when those simple ingredients displayed above changed everything. Love at first bite!
And it wasn’t just the pancakes. Accompanying them was a homemade syrup that my father-in-law called Mr. Butterworth’s. I’m not sure what I expected but I didn’t really expect to like it. They were such frugal people that I expected it was made because it was cheap but I never expected it to be good. Uh oh…wrong. Butter, sugar and vanilla cooked just long enough to start to caramelize? So good.
I should have known better; I loved the foods that came from my in-laws kitchen and except for the lack of a dishwasher and their very old-fashioned notion that no man should ever wash dishes I enjoyed spending time cooking there.
Love my original recipe card? It was BI – Before Internet, and I’ve kept that one book all of these years with some old handwritten recipes. I don’t keep a lot of ‘stuff’ but that little book will be buried with me!
I’m sure that over the course of almost 20 years that I had many meals I loved when we visited but nothing quite as memorable as those pancakes. My girls are lucky that they are all they’ve ever known and looked forward to them each and every time. I can’t help but recall our snow days when I read of all of the friends on the East coast who have been inundated with snow recently; those days were especially geared towards these Buttermilk Pancakes. It would be impossible to imagine during a regular school day so they were always requested when we had an unexpected day to just play.
A long leisurely breakfast, some time outside clearing the driveway and sidewalks and then the fun part. Snowmen, sledding and pelting each other with snowballs. Am I the only mom that misses those days; you know with the luxury of forgetting how hard it was day-to-day to do that job? I just want the occasional snow day with my girls…is that too much to ask?
I think I need to make a new tradition; the first big snow we have (already March and none yet!) I’m going to invite my neighbors and their kids down here for breakfast and these pancakes…trust me they will devour them and best of all…maybe they’ll also remember them forever. In the meantime, I had company this past weekend and I let little Violet choose what she wanted for breakfast. ‘Pancakes!’ was her request and I delivered. Of course then she wanted pancakes for every meal…really, they are that good! I posted this recipe a few years ago but after this weekend I realized I need to share it again; they truly are the BEST Buttermilk Pancakes!
For the Pancakes
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 C buttermilk (If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can also add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to regular milk and let it sit for at least 5 minutes as a substitution).
- 1/4 C oil
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 C sifted flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
For homemade syrup (Always called it Mr Butterworth's Syrup!)
- 3/4 c Buttermilk
- 3/4 c Butter
- 1 1/2 c Sugar
- 1 t Vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
To Make the Pancakes:
- Combine half of milk with rest of ingredients in blender (or mixer) and mix until well blended, approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Add remaining milk and mix for another 30 seconds or until smooth.
- Cook on heated griddle. Serve immediately.
I typically serve with real maple syrup but the following recipe is a good alternative!
To Make the Syrup:
- Combine butter, buttermilk, and sugar in large saucepan. This mixture will boil up, so make sure you use a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly and let boil on low heat for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda (this is the fun part...but why you'll need that large pan when you see how it foams up!).
- Add maple syrup if using, stir and allow to cool a bit before serving.
- Will keep in refrigerator for a couple of weeks. We never had it that long...good on ice cream too!