Sour Cream Pancakes <3 Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Black is the color of my true love’s hair
His face so soft and wondrous fair
The purest eyes
and the strongest hands
I love the ground on where he stands
Oh I love my lover
and where he goes
yes, I love the ground on where he goes
And still I hope
that the time will come
when he and I will be as one
So black is the color of my true love’s hair
Black is the color of my true love’s hair
Black is the color of my true love’s hair

My boyfriend isn’t a natural cook, although he is one by trade.  When I met him, he made mostly just sausages and the occasional frozen chicken pie, and although he does have a riotously killer recipe for a spaghetti dinner that will take your house down and warm your heart doing it, it’s been a slow and fascinating process to open his eyes to concept of food as something that can be good for the soul.  Not just a waste of time or a way to stay alive, but something that can be an expression of yourself, a colourful diversion, a movie night improver by spades, and a way to make yourself feel pampered.

I’ll miss this crazy oven.

It was his idea to make me pancakes, and I could never say no to a treat like that.  Plus, I make admittedly terrible pancakes most of the time, so I had a hunch that his attempt would be like that of angels next to mine, owing to the law of life-scale humour.  It didn’t hurt that I handpicked a recipe that consisted mostly of sour cream with very little flour in the mix, one that I’d always wanted to try.  And since he’s very good at frying things and flipping things in pans, it was only too few sun-soaked moments in our kitchen (that really does look like a boat’s galley and is home to one of the most character-filled ovens I’ve ever had the pleasure of communicating with) before we had fluffy-puff pancakes on the table and ready to share.

I took full opportunity to crack into the fresh bottle of Rogers golden syrup that my mom had packed with her from B.C. – the thick, sweet buttery taste of my griddle-cooked youth and totally unavailable in this part of the world – and opened a jar of some spring-preserved strawberry rhubarb compote I’d made for a cake (to be blogged about later, for sure!).  They met in the middle as a rose-pink swirl and each bite tasted of creamy fields and ethereality, and our wizard friend / night-breakfast diner was silently agog with the taste as well.  Christian made this?  Hells yes pancakes for dinner!  Whenever wherever!

100% boyfriend-made. Well, the pancakes were, anyway!

I share this recipe in full confidence that at least one person out there will brave the concept of a bowl full of dairy hardly whispered with flour and enjoy these perfect puff-cakes as we did.

Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks 

  • 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup (or, if you can get your hands on it – golden syrup)

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat; you want it to slowly get nice and hot.

Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in the bottom of a medium bowl. Dump the sour cream in on top and stir it together very gently; it’s okay to leave the texture a bit uneven. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir them into the sour cream mixture, once again, being careful not to overmix.

Melt about a tablespoon of butter in your skillet or griddle and pour the batter in, a scant 1/4 cup at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, or until bubbles appear all over the surface, flipping them carefully and cooking for about a minute on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve in a stack, topped with a pat of butter and a cascade of syrup, and if you like……

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon

* Liz’s note: this compote preserves very well if properly canned – it loses some of it’s pink hue, but the flavour stays vibrant and springlike and very convenient for rhubarb cravings year-round.

  • 1 pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Select about 4 ounces of the smallest strawberries and cut lengthwise into quarters. These will be added raw to the cooked compote; set aside.

Cut the remaining larger berries in halves or quarters so that the pieces are about the same size. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups.) Place them in a medium saucepan.

With a paring knife, pull away and discard the strings that run the length of the rhubarb stalks. Cut the stalks into 3/4-inch pieces (you should have about 3 cups) and add to the saucepan.

Use a fine grater or a Microplane to zest the lemon. Add 1 teaspoon of the zest to the pan. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice and add it to the pan. Add the sugar and stir to coat the fruit.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. By the time the sugar has dissolved, the fruit will have released a lot of juice. Boil for about 4 minutes to reduce the liquid somewhat, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft. Don’t worry if some of the rhubarb falls apart.

Take pan off the stove and stir in reserved strawberries. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in a covered container until cold. (This makes about 4 cups of compote, but the extra will keep for a couple of weeks and is delicious for breakfast, especially with crème fraîche.)

4 thoughts on “Sour Cream Pancakes <3 Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

  1. Jes says:

    I need a boyfriend who’s great at frying & flipping! Gotta get G on that.

    Those pancakes look amazing, major kudos to your guy. And the compote? Oh, wow, just perfect.


    • elizabethranger says:

      Yeah, I was gleefully surprised at how more-than-perfect they came out. I basically told him at that point that he would forever be the pancake-maker in the relationship. And I imagine your guy has his own specialty, and more that are waiting to be discovered!


    • elizabethranger says:

      Now that you mention it, *warming* the compote would have been even nicer! And now you’ve got me with visions of bubbling pots of jams thinned with a bit of water and turned into syrups! Excuse enough to grab some cinnamon bred and make french toast, methinks.


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