Chef Penny's Pro Pancakes
Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor Penny Stankiewicz uses bourbon syrup, buttermilk and candied bacon to perfect her pancake recipe.
Epicurious' 4 Levels series features professional ICE chefs demonstrating classic dishes alongside amateur and advanced cooks, followed by analysis of the three recipes from a food scientist. In this episode, Chef Penny shares her approach to a simple breakfast pleasure: pancakes with homemade apple butter and candied bacon.
Chef Penny says she likes to add things to her recipes anywhere she can make it more interesting. For pancakes, she creates a more complex flavor with whole wheat flour, adds color and depth with buttermilk and incorporates a fruity element with apple butter.
"Bacon is where the magic is happening in this recipe," she says. "I like a piece of bacon in every forkful of pancake."
Watch the video for Chef Penny's demo and get the complete recipe below.
- 1/4 cup bacon fat
- 8 apples, mixed variety (I like golden delicious and Rome, peeled, cored, rough sliced and ground into small pieces in food processor.)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise pods
- 8 pieces clove
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat bacon fat in a dutch oven.
- Saute the apple pieces in the bacon fat.
- Place the whole spices in a cheese cloth packet tied with twine and add them to the apples. Add the salt and ground nutmeg.
- Cook over medium/low heat, stirring often until the apples have broken down completely into a paste and little moisture remains, about 90 minutes to 3 hours.
- Cool and store in the refrigerator for future use.
- This is also made well in a slow cooker or instant on its slow cooker setting.
Bourbon Maple Syrup
- 12 ounces maple syrup
- 6 ounces good bourbon whisky
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes at the simmer. Turn off the heat and allow flavors to meld fully as its returning to room temperature.
- Refrigerate any extra leaving bean and pod in the liquid.
- 1 pound applewood smoked bacon, thick-cut
- 8 ounces light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground star anise
- Mix sugar and star anise.
- Lay bacon out on a sheet tray fitted with a rack.
- Pack sugar mix in a layer on top of the bacon and bake at 400 F until bacon is crisp and sugar has melted and formed a crust on the bacon, about 15 minutes.
- Cool and chop into small pieces.
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
- Place the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook until the butter solids have browned deeply.
- Set aside 3 tablespoons for recipe and stir spice and salt into rest.
- Allow to cool somewhat in the pan, and then when it's moldable, scrape it onto plastic wrap and roll into a log. Chill.
- Cut into rounds for the top of the pancakes.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat or rye flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 10 ounces buttermilk
- 3 tablespoon melted brown butter
- Pam for pan
- Mix together all the dry and whisk to combine.
- Mix together buttermilk, eggs, browned butter and fold into the dry ingredients, leaving some small lumps is best rather than overmixing.
- Preheat griddle over medium heat. Transfer pancake mix to a pouring pitcher. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto griddle spacing them out a bit. Immediately sprinkle on chopped candied bacon. When bubbles form on the top of the pancake, flip over.
- Put cooked pancakes on a sheet pan lined with a rack and hold them in a warm oven until ready to eat.
See upcoming classes with Chef Penny.