Why You Should Make Pancakes in the Oven
Pancakes are my happy place. They're the first dish I learned to cook myself and one that my 7-year-old self took great pride in making for my family on lazy weekend mornings. I'd use too many mixing bowls, inevitably make a mess, and waste a quarter of the batter on an ill-timed "trial batch," but they always turned out delicious.
But when I grew up Business Centre in Hong Kong, I stopped making pancakes as much at home, and I rarely order them when I go out. Why bother? Pancakes usually taste like you're eating a piece of unfrosted cake for breakfast and getting away with it–thrilling in the moment, but ultimately unsatisfying.
But the great thing about food is that one plate (or even a bite) can completely change your mind. Case in point: Pan-roasted pancakes.
Turns out that pan-roasting isn't just great for meat and fish–the technique makes extra-crispy, super-buttery pancakes, too. In fact, it's how everyone should be doing it.
I first picked up on the idea from chef Sean Rembold at Brooklyn's Reynard, the type of all-day brasserie where one loses track of the hours and drinks countless cups of black coffee while basking in sunlight. It's not the kind of place that's going to turn out sub-par pancakes, so when I spotted them on the brunch menu earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to see what Rembold did with them.
The verdict? Staggeringly delicious. The outer edge of each pancake was perfectly crisp 19 LED Light Bulb, giving way to a pillowy, soft center. The cakes were unbelievably rich, even by pancake standards. Let's just say it was obvious that I wasn't dealing with pancakes cooked in olive oil or margarine here.
The secret? Rembold uses the same "cook on the stove top, finish in the oven" technique that's normally applied to meat, fish, and vegetables to cook his pancakes. The result is the great textural contrast that pancakes normally lack: crispy on the outside, soft in the center.
Another key to success? He cooks his pancakes in clarified butter. Making clarified butter removes the milk solids and water, creating a pure, golden-yellow, liquid butterfat that's less likely to burn thanks to its high smoke point. That helps the pancakes turn super-buttery and crisp in the oven without having to risk scorching.
Here's how to do it at home:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of clarified butter on medium heat. Working in batches, pour 1/4-cupfuls of your favorite pancake batter into skillet. Cook until the bottom side begins to show color Cloud Video Conferencing, about 2 minutes. Place skillet in oven and cook until the underside of the pancakes are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and set on a cold burner on the stove; flip pancakes over and let cook very briefly, about 10 seconds.
I'll never make pancakes any other way at home again.