What is the difference between a pancake and a hotcake? The internet’s definition basically says that a pancake is fluffier and lighter with a great taste, while a hotcake is made in a thinner, less tasteful batter and is flat. I don’t think my mother knew this, otherwise, she would not have named these light, fluffy-with-a-crispy-edge creations, “hotcakes”. Maybe it’s because I can hear her saying ‘hotcakes” with her Spanish accent, or maybe it’s because all of her grandchildren loved eating her hotcakes before going to school (she babysat all of her grandchildren while we all worked) and she would make them anytime they wanted them, or maybe simply because these are so addicting and good any time of the day that I beg to differ with the internet’s definition. Or maybe these really are pancakes, if that definition is correct. Don’t even get me started on comparing them to “griddlecakes” or “flapjacks”.
In my mom’s kitchen right next to the stove, she kept a small dish filled with melted butter. This was used exclusively for brushing butter on the griddle for her hotcakes. Once the griddle was the perfect temperature, she would pour the batter over the melted butter and wait for the bubbles to appear, indicating that a perfectly golden crust was forming along the perimeter of the pancake. This is what you are looking for:
See that bubbly goodness? It requires patience while the crusty, golden edge is forming. You will be rewarded. Once the top is covered in bubbles, it is safe to flip.
The Apple Cider Syrup is my addition to this classic recipe. A bit of the old with the new, if you will. Perfect for an autumn morning. My mother called these “hotcakes” I call them “the bomb”!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 4 teaspoons melted butter or shortening, cooled
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Make a well and whisk in the milk, eggs and butter, mixing until smooth.
- Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
- Brush the griddle with melted butter, reapplying before every batch.
- Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each hotcake.
- Once bubbles have formed on the top, flip the hotcake and cook until golden brown and cooked through.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.
- Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, and continue to boil until syrup thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sir in the butter until melted. Serve warm.
Et cetera: I work as an instructional aide during the day, and I really like the people I work with. This post came as a result of a conversation I had with “Mr. R.”, who made me crave some hotcakes while telling me how delicious his grandmother’s pancakes were and how much he loved that golden ridge that formed around them. I had no choice about what to post tonight. It was predetermined.