Have some over-ripe bananas? Then make better pancakes

I hate to throw over-ripe bananas away. It is such a wasted opportunity for fresh fragrant banana bread. But, there is only so much banana bread that one can eat. That is why I asked myself, what else can I make with over-ripe bananas?

 

And, since it was Sunday, banana pancakes popped into my head. I had never made banana pancakes with over-ripe bananas. I usually make them with slices of firm, slightly green bananas because that is how I like to eat fresh bananas. As it turned out, the over-ripe bananas are way better for pancakes.

I also wanted to try a pancake technique that a friend of mine swears by. You separate the egg and blend the yolk and the white into the batter at different times. It is supposed to make the pancakes lighter. I am not sure that it made that much difference but it is easy to do, doesn’t take any extra time like beating egg whites, and the resulting pancakes were light and fluffy and toothsome all at once.

RIPE BANANA PANCAKES

Servings: 18 medium pancakes

Start to finish: 25 minutes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2teaspoon baking powder

1/2teaspoon baking soda

1/8teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large egg, separated

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/4cup cream or half and half

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 ripe banana, mashed with a fork

Salted butter and real maple syrup for serving

Heat the oven to 250 F and set a sheet pan with a rack. Set aside

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Combine the milk and the vinegar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and let sit 1-2 minutes. Add the egg yolk, and cream or half and half and mix well. Add the melted butter to the milk and egg yolk mixture and blend with a fork until well combined.

Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a blending fork until barely combined. Mix the egg white in a small bowl until slightly foamy and add the egg white to the batter. Stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash a ripe banana in a separate bowl. Just before cooking, combine the mashed banana and the pancake batter.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, use a spoon or a ladle to drop batter in heaping spoonfuls to the pan, allowing room for the batter to spread out. Unlike most recipes, I prefer not to “fry” the pancakes in oil or butter. I like a drier non-oily finish. If your skillet is non-stick, this will not be a problem.

Cook for about 1-2 minutes, depending on size. When the pancake begins to bubble, use a thin off-set spatula to gently flip to the other side. The pancake should be golden brown, if the heat is too high, the pancake will burn on the outside and be uncooked on the inside. Cook on the other side for another 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven while you cook all the batter. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet as you make the pancakes or the fresh pancakes will pick up the burned bits as they cook. Serve as soon as possible, with salted butter and maple syrup.

 

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