by: Marilyn McCray
Who doesn’t love to wake up to a breakfast of hot, delicious pancakes in camp?
Start with a simple batter of eggs, flour, milk and baking powder for leavening. Experiment with the type of flour. Add blueberries, nuts or mini chocolate chips to the batter or serve with fresh fruit, or Nutella. Whatever you like.
Serves 6-8 depending on size of pan
· 2 eggs beaten
· 1 ½ cups buttermilk
· 2 Tablespoons butter melted and cooled
· 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons baking powder (to make the pancakes fluffy)
· 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
· Chocolate chips (mini chips are great to mix in the batter).
· Fresh Blueberries
· Chopped pecans
· A teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg
Prepare before leaving home
· Measure dry ingredients and sugar, place in plastic bags – label
· Measure and place liquids, oils, maple syrup reusable containers – label
· Pack a whisk and spatula
· Refrigerate eggs, butter, buttermilk and fruit in ice chest or cooler
Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment ready before beginning to cook.
Whisk eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl, add cool, melted butter to a bowl.
Whisk all dry ingredients in another bowl. Some campfire cooks like to use a 24-ounce Mason jar with a lid to mix the ingredients. Optional: mix ½ cup mini chocolate chips into the batter. Blend liquid and dry ingredients together until no obvious dry bits remain. Some lumps OK. Pancake batter should never be overmixed. This develops gluten, making a tough pancake. A few lumps are OK. They will take care of themselves.
If you are feeling creative, recycle an old squeezable ketchup bottle for your pancake batter and draw fun shapes on the griddle for your pancakes.
On the campfire – Cast Iron Skillet or Griddle
Prepare the campfire before starting to cook to produce hot coals. Spread the coals evenly under the pan to prevent burning or hot spots. Cooking over a fire pit with an adjustable grate over the fire is another option. Some cooks prefer using a heat diffuser to distribute the heat more evenly across the pan. Pre-heat a flat-bottom cast iron skillet or griddle over coals. Test the skillet by sprinkling a drop or two of cold water on it. If the water sputters and bounces, the pan is ready. If it evaporates instantly, the pan is too hot. Add butter, vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray the skillet or griddle. Measure ¼ to ½ cup of batter and ladle into the hot skillet. Leave at least an inch around each pancake to make flipping easier. Add the desired of fruit, nuts or chocolate chips at this point. Cook until tiny bubbles appear 3 to 4 minutes and edges browning, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Cook until golden brown. Flip the pancake with a spatula and complete the cooking. If the pan seems dry, add a bit more oil or cooking spray. Lift the pancake to a serving platter, cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
On the camp stove –
Heat a flat-bottom cast iron skillet or griddle or a stainless-steel skillet on your camp stove over medium low heat. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to coat the pan or spray with cooking spray. Measure ¼ to ½ cup of batter and ladle into the hot skillet. Follow the process outlined in the campfire method.
Place pancakes on plates. Serve with butter and maple syrup or a drizzle of honey. Garnish with blue berries, sliced fruit, or mini chocolate chips. For a really chocolate experience, spread Nutella on the pancakes. Sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on top of the pancake for extra sweetness. A dollop of whip cream can be a treat for a special occasion.
Optional: Serve a side of bacon or sausage. Add a mug of campfire coffee and start the day!
Marilyn McCray is a published author of a cookbook titled Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding, the International Harvester’s fictional spokesperson. Marilyn and her partner, Jim Kerkhoff, travel in a beautiful teardrop to promote the book and she has graciously agreed to share some recipes with us in a regular column. Be sure to check out her book at teardroptrail.com/equipment-and-supplies/