Just before we moved away from California, we took a trip to Paso Robles with some friends for a little wine tasting and relaxation. The morning we said our farewells to our friends, the Godfather and I decided we would hang out a little longer and walk around town to work up enough of an appetite so we could enjoy one more meal at one of our favorite places in town, Thomas Hill Organics.
On the menu that day was a cast iron skillet pancake. Baked in this adorable little skillet was a cornbread-like pancake served with a rosemary maple syrup and fresh fruit. It tasted wonderful, but the presentation had me swooning. What’s not to love about small cast iron skillets? We picked up two just before Christmas and decided that a version of the THO pancake was the perfect first recipe to “break in” the new skillets when the time was right. Some gorgeous fresh blackberries at Whole Foods made for the perfect finishing touch for this to be our New Year’s Day breakfast.
This is an impressive dish for a “non-cook” or “non-baker” to keep in their arsenal since it only takes one bowl to make the pancake batter and one pot for the compote. The end result is so beautiful with golden crisp edges and a soft cake-like center balanced with the tart sweet fruit, I’ve already requested one for Mother’s Day.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temp
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or one vanilla bean, scraped
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
Blackberry Champagne Compote
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup champagne or sparkling cider
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Place your cast iron skillet in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- While the skillet is heating, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk, buttermilk, vanilla extract, egg, and melted butter
- By now the oven has reached the correct temperature. Remove the cast iron skillet (use a mitt or holder!) and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Pour in the batter and ensure it's evenly distributed.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the pancake top springs back when touched and the edges are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
While the pancake is baking, make the compote...
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan with a lid.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Then uncover, raise the heat to medium, and simmer another 10 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Set aside to cool until the pancake is done and you are ready to serve.
- To bring the milk to room temperature, I usually combine the milk and buttermilk in a measuring cup and microwave 10-15 seconds. That way you don't need to leave items out of the refrigerator unnecessarily. Safety first!
- The batter makes enough for two 6" skillets or one 8 or 9" cast iron skillet. Use what you have. 🙂
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