Ye Ye's Pancakes


This is an all-time family favorite - my dad's crispy-edged, crepe-like pancakes. During Christmas holidays, when the whole family would be together, my dad would start early in the morning and make stacks and stacks for his twelve hungry grandchildren, as well as the adults, of course!

My dad had made these pancakes so often, he'd memorized the recipe. So when he passed away suddenly, we had nothing to go by.  Fortunately, my mom remembered an old Pillsbury Family Cook Book from the 60's which my dad referred to frequently when he used to bake a lot of cookies and cakes. She thumbed to a yellowed grease-stained page and found a recipe for Thin Pancakes. She thought it looked about right, but noticed a few differences. Rather than melted butter, my dad used vegetable oil and on top of that he liked to throw in a couple of spoonfuls of sugar (now you know where I got my sweet-tooth!).

After a few test runs and tweaks, the grandkids proclaimed "These are Ye Ye's pancakes!" They're still the grandkids' favorite and now that several have either graduated or are off at college and away from home, they're wanting to make them themselves. So, here's the recipe, blogged for posterity, in honor of my dad and as a beautiful testament to the power of food in creating and keeping memories alive.

Notes for the grandkids:
  1. For crispier edges, use more oil in the pan. 
  2. For thinner pancakes, use less batter and swirl it to cover pan.
  3. Batter can be made two days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. 
  4. For me, it never fails; the first pancake is always the worst in that it just doesn't brown up nicely. So I like to make it on the small side, so as not to waste the batter on a dud! 

Ye Ye's Pancakes
Makes approximately ten 7" diameter pancakes

In a blender or using a hand-mixer and a bowl, blend till smooth:
2 cups milk (whole or low-fat)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (195g)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Let batter sit 10-15 minutes to allow air bubbles to subside and flour to hydrate (absorb more liquid).

Heat a 7" diameter skillet or crepe pan over medium-low heat. Drizzle in, thinly covering bottom of pan:
vegetable oil
A silicon pastry brush works great to brush the oil evenly across the pan. Otherwise, just tilt pan and swirl the heated oil.

Check that pan is heated. Get your finger wet, then flick a water droplet or two into pan. If it sizzles, pan is ready. For the first pancake, pour only a little amount of batter, enough to make a small 2-3" diameter pancake. When bubbles rise to surface, flip with a spatula. and cook other side. The first pancake doesn't usually brown completely, so don't cook too long waiting for it to happen.

For successive pancakes, re-oil the pan, and with one hand, pour in batter slowly while the other hand swirls the pan to evenly spread the batter. Adjust heat as necessary. Wait until bubbles appear, then carefully flip with spatula.


Cook the other side until lightly browned, about 1 minute.


Enjoy with any of the following:
cut up fresh fruit
maple syrup
fruit preserves
Nutella
dusting of confectioners' sugar
whipped cream






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