When my husband & I first met, we were living & working in the beautiful city of Melboune (Australia). What a gourmands paradise! It has more restaurants, markets & food festivals than you could poke a proverbial stick at. We loved discovering funky cafés tucked down random laneways in the city. With the diversity of ethnic cuisines available, you could eat your way around the world without leaving town.
My favorite meals of the day have always been breakfast & brunch. Melbourne cafés have elevated he morning meal to an art form. The perfect start to my Melbourne weekend would had to have been juicy pan fried portobello mushrooms, topped with goats cheese, thyme, lemon zest & a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar. Then, it was on to the Queen Victoria Market (or the Vic’ Market to locals) with my little tartan shopping cart; to wander the fruit & veg stalls & marvel at the diversity of sea life in the fishmongers’ pavilion.
I consider the humble pancake the “little black dress” of the breakfast table. A classic base; it can be accessorized with whatever toppings take your fancy. My husband is strictly a bacon & maple syrup kind of guy. I prefer a zingy fruit or berry compote, accompanied by lashings of thick cream & a drizzle of honey.
Here in New Zealand, spring has almost sprung & thoughts turn to bright flavors and lazy alfresco weekend brunches. A perfect reason to enjoy a teetering stack of pancake-y goodness, dripping with zesty lemon curd and a goodly dollop of crème fraîche.
Basic Buttermilk Pancakes.
- 2 Cups self-raising flour
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Cups buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (I use a silicone whisk).
- In a separate bowl, beat the 3 eggs lightly to combine yolks & whites. Add the buttermilk & melted butter & mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture & thoroughly incorporate with the whisk.
- Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes to get good & fluffy.
- Get cooking!
This recipe works well for large pancakes or smaller pikelet size versions- suit yourself! I have found coconut oil to be a great option for cooking pancakes as you avoid the burned bits of milk solids that can come with using butter on the skillet.
Now, there is absolutely no shame in using store-bought lemon curd on these pancakes! If, however, you are at a bit of a loose end on a Friday night & want to add a bit more love, here is my lemon curd recipe to brighten your Saturday breakfast.
Easy Lemon Curd.
Lemon curd is essentially a member of the custard family. I have tried a few different recipes over the years, some involving a double boiler/ bain-marie technique to cook the curd slowly. The only time I have found this necessary was on occasions when I was using a gas hob & it was difficult to get a really low, consistent temperature. If you are using an electric or induction hob, skip it!
- 1 Cup sugar
- 100g Butter
- 2 large eggs and 2 yolks
- 150mL lemon juice
- Lemon zest to taste (I use the zest of about 3 lemons as I like a bit of texture. Omit if you prefer a completely smooth curd).
I use a microplane to remove zest- for a fine textured result.
Try to get unwaxed lemons, of course! If not, place the lemons into a colander & pour boiling water over them, then give them a good scrubbing with a vegetable or nail brush.
- Cream butter & sugar together using beaters or a stand mixer.
- Add eggs and yolks to the mixture one at a time until well combined.
- Add lemon zest & juice to the mix. At this point the mixture will take on a funky curdled appearance- don’t panic!
- Cook mixture in a saucepan on a low heat, stirring slowly & constantly for about 15 minutes, or until it thickens to coat the back of your spoon or spatula.
- Allow to cool. It will theoretically keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge (in a very clean jar). Ours has never lasted long enough to test the theory.