Baking on a narrowboat named "One Thing After Another"
The spring of 2014 has seen us travelling around on the boat quite a lot, as well as doing a lot of maintenance work on the outside. The bottom of the boat needed blacking – a measure which sees any part of the boat under the waterline painted in a special bitumastic paint to help stop corrosion against the steel.
I have also been busy re-painting the roof and some other bits and pieces. All that, along with moving around on the boat into different villages, towns and cities has actually left very little time to be baking, let alone blogging about it! We have travelled through open country-side, small villages with a feeling that you could be living in the past, to cities that are filled with industrial heritage – a reminder of how life on the canals really started. We were in Manchester City Centre for a few weeks and found some great places to eat out, so have had a “food adventure in the city”, so to speak too! It’s given me a break from baking, but also filled me with inspiration.
Despite the break in baking habits, which can of course be good for the waistline, there has been one breakfast staple that we haven’t been able to stop eating….these pancakes.
Blueberry pancakes drizzled (drowned!) in maple syrup are an american classic and something I have loved eating whenever I’ve been in New York City – although the look of disappointment and/or shock-horror when I tell the waitor or waitress that I don’t want them with bacon always leaves me feeling a little guilty. Personally, I find just the pancakes on their own is enough – adding crispy bacon seems a little too indulgent for me and somehow creates too many flavours which means I don’t savour that fresh but warming burst of blueberry flavour, which teams so well with the maple syrup.
Sweet. Warm. Comforting. Not to mention, fluffy and light!
Great for eating whilst on the move on the deck of our boat. Last week, there was nothing better than cruising along the canals in the early morning sunshine and eating these….
1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of butter in a small pan, until just melted. Pour the melted butter into a jug along with the milk and egg.
2. Using a whisk, mix the milk and egg mixture into your flour mix. Whisk well, until no lumps are visible and then leave for around 10 minutes at room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, melt another tablespoon of butter into a large frying pan, just until it starts to foam. Then, add approximately 2 heaped tablespoons of the pancake batter to the pan for each pancake. Depending on the size of your pan, make around 3-4 at a time. Add a few blueberries onto the top of each pancake once you’ve spooned the mixture into the pan.
4. Flip over the pancakes once little crumpet-like holes start to appear on the surface and they’re a nice golden brown colour on the underneath and cook for a few minutes more on the other side. (At this stage, they will also look beautifully puffed up with that tempting fluffy, plump look to them!)
5. Keep the reserved pancakes warm in a low oven, or just in foil while you continue cooking the remainder – I usually put mine in a Gas 3/170C/325F oven whilst I complete cooking them all.)
6. Serve stacked high(!) and drowned in maple syrup along with a tumble of fresh blueberries…
As I said before, these are perfect to eat with just a fork on the back of the boat whilst cruising and are even better with a good, strong coffee. The slight caramelisation and warmth of the blueberries really releases their flavour, creating an aromatic pancake with a light bubbly texture which was just meant for soaking up good maple syrup…