Finally got around to trying another recipe from my Pesco-Mediterranean cookbook and the results were… not pretty.
This time I went with the “variation of food I’m familiar with,” being pancakes as mentioned in the title but made with almond flour and a berry-based syrup instead of white flour and the fake maple stuff we usually buy.
None of it turned out anything like what I was expecting, for a variety of reasons.
For potentially environmental ones (I’m in Michigan and relatively near the lakeshore, for however much difference that makes), the pancake batter was entirely too thick: if I make it again I may need more water than what the book calls for, or I may just resort to tossing it all into a waffle maker instead of trying to do “pancakes” at all. In any case, when doing the recipe as written there was no way I could measure out two tablespoons of batter per pancake, so I considered myself lucky to scrape it out into six pancakes when the recipe expected you to make eight.
Edit to add, since I’m apparently not at a high enough altitude for any of that to matter according to Google, there’s also this technique for measuring flour that I came across several hours after writing this post:
The bag I’d used was too small to just scoop the flour right out so I’m pretty sure I did something like the video recommends for the measuring step, but I don’t believe I’d “fluffed” it ahead of time so it’s quite likely that it was packed enough that I’d used too much without realizing. (I’ll have to remember this step when making scones, as well; I can never get the dry ingredients to mix in properly with the wet without adding too much liquid and ending up with a sticky mess that, again, I’m lucky to scrape out of the bowl well enough to manage a fraction of the alleged servings.)
For “personal mistake”/”technical errors” reasons, the first batch of pancakes simply took forever to cook. By which I mean I went the recommended five minutes, then another five, then started on a third group of five, and still the bottoms had not cooked enough for me to flip the things without the entire batch falling to pieces. Not sure if I’d used too much oil (I’d added extra to accommodate the size of the skillet) or if the burner wasn’t heating properly (mom had had it checked due to problems a few weeks previously) but I ended up switching burners and they finally cooked… but not before I’d already made a mess.
Tasted good, though… the parts of them that I didn’t burn, that is. The three that didn’t completely fall apart (one, miraculously, from this batch, and the two in the second batch which cooked without any problems) got put away as leftovers while my dinner consisted of the crumbs of the experiment.
The syrup, I’m not so sure about. While the pancake batter might have benefited from more water, the syrup looked like it could’ve done with less. The recipe tells you to use more water if it ends up being too thick, but it seems to me that all I even made was vaguely strawberry-flavored water with occasional lumps of actual strawberry in it. And I’m already not a fan of flavored water. This after I added more strawberries to accommodate the “you can’t really measure out a cup because they’re too solid and weirdly shaped to measure volume” issue.
In addition to the not-syrupy texture, a mixture of berries as the book recommends might have tasted better than one type, but there aren’t many other berries I like to begin with (though I think I’d do better with a bowl of fresh and skip the syrup entirely) and we had a ton of them in the freezer from one of my parents’ trips to the food truck, so I’d figured that was my best bet for a first try.
Oh, I did one single ingredient substitution. Rather than buy a lemon for the express purpose of zesting and juicing it, I decided that the oranges in my fridge were getting old and needed to be used up, so I zested and juiced (or attempted to 😉 ) one of them.
As small as they were (being Mandarin or a similar breed), I probably should’ve used two.
And on the not-healthy-food side of things, I still have plenty of almond flour left for whenever I get around to trying to make scones with it. Been meaning to try that for over a year now.
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