I’m not much of a pancake eater. I’d rather have french toast or waffles which seem heartier to me.
On Tuesday my friend and I hit a “hotcakes” joint after a show in Portland and I had a humongous pancake that was super delicious. It was also 11-something at night which makes most things delicious. It put my mind to pancakes this week.
I had some sour cream that was getting a bit iffy and I needed to use a lot of it (more than 1 cup) quickly. An internet search brought up a variety of recipes but most only used a small amount. Finally I found a sour cream pancake recipe on the Pioneer Woman site that seemed like it might be pretty good. I think the reason I don’t always love pancakes is they’re too cake-y and absorb too much syrup making for a generally mushy plate. Her post made them seem lighter but also somehow more substantial and the tang of sour cream is usually a good combination for me. I think I was taken by the golden-ness of the photos. And it used 1 cup of sour cream!
So I gave it a try. It’s a delicious pancake recipe and the pancakes themselves get very crispy and also stay quite light. But I was the only person around and it makes quite a few cakes. Now what? I remembered that my mom used to freeze waffles and sometimes pancakes individually and then we’d eat them warmed in the toaster like the expensive ones from the store. I figured I’d eat them the next day since it was the weekend, but figured freezing would still make for a better result in texture than just having cold pancakes in the fridge and nuking them in the microwave.
I was right. Similar to rice, refrigerating pancakes changes the texture in a way that isn’t delightful whereas freezing must somehow bypass that transformation. If you put rice in the fridge, it gets crusty and hard. If you freeze it and then microwave it from frozen, it’s almost as good as when you first cooked it. I think pancakes from the fridge taste flat, “dull.” By freezing and then toasting, the original texture is preserved and the toaster crisped them up just enough to be very delightful.
They key is making sure they’re totally cool before wrapping them in layers of wax paper (I put them on small racks to cool) and then into some kind of container for the fridge. I did four cakes per container and it was pretty snug without much air. I think they would have been fine in the freezer for several weeks, but I impatiently ate them on Sunday.
Maybe even better than on day one. Better than the stuff you buy in the frozen food section.