After watching Vivian Howard’s A Chef’s Life episode on buttermilk, I was in a buttermilk sorta mood. I made Buttermilk Panne Cotta: fabulous! and was still hankering for more. Vivian made me feel a little intimidated cuz she was driving to some dairy farm for 2 hours to get the real thing and putting down the grocery store variety. But I wasn’t going to drink it by the glass, so I got over that and just kept stocking up and testing with the real thing instead of sour milk which is my reliable back-pocket hack. (A tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk let to sit a few minutes.) The hack is fine in most baked goods, but when you want to highlight that flavor, ya gotta go for the real thing here just like in every other food ingredient.
So when I ran across this beautiful photo, I had to try Buttermilk Pancakes with Amazing Buttermilk Syrup. What?! I literally had never heard of it, but turns out it’s a really old recipe. Not sure if it’s a geographic thing, but probably came about out here in the plains where we have to import maple syrup. And I did really like it. I mean the writer was a little cuckoo about it, but when you can successfully get the whole family eating the same dish, that IS reason to celebrate.
If you’re a chocolate chip pancake and whipped cream type, this may not be your thing. The syrup is still sweet, but that tangy edge is much different than your run of the mill syrup. If buttermilk doesn’t turn you off, and if you’re a little bit intrigued by the name, I do recommend this. Syrup is, after all, just sugar dissolved in liquid. This is a crazy mix of melted butter, sugar and buttermilk. It’s quite yummy. Has the butteriness and sweetness you are expecting and then that nice tang from the buttermilk. You stir in soda at the end which makes it foamy and light. I think it makes a great topping for the cakes and even though her photo has a huge slab of butter on top, you just don’t need that when you use this buttery sauce. If your gang likes pancakes for breakfast, or the ever popular “breakfast for dinner”, this oughta be in your repertoire cuz these babies are light and fluffy. Oh, and the recipe makes a ton of cakes.