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Campfire Pancakes: A New Hampshire Getaway!

August 10, 2015

This past weekend I was super lucky to get to re-live the exceptionally epic two (and a little bit) days getaway that is Camp Mead.

Due to the generosity and awesomeness of my very good friend and her lovely parents, this past weekend was spent lakeside, soaking up the New Hampshire sunshine, drinking far too much beer and generally living it up rural style.


Last year I cooked up a huge Chili con Carne over the flames to feed the hungry campers, the final dinner made even tastier by the back drop of glittering Swaines Lake in Barrington, and our appertites encouraged along nicely by a days messing about in the water and lounging in the sun.

Campfire cooking, to me, is as much about the experience of standing over a crackling fire and wrangling hot, heavy cast iron as it is about the finished dish. Everyone's slight pyromania and enthrallment at the dancing flames embellished by the aroma of cooking food and the back to basics rawness of it all.


This year I wanted to try my hand as something for breakfast, and being an American staple I knew I wanted to whip up some pancakes flavoured with some fruit and chocolate.

Though our camp was a positive 'glamp' with a shower equipped bathroom built in the garage next to out camping spot, the kitchen is authentically outdoorsy and consists of a near 50 year old fire pit/grill- with a better view than (I estimate) 90% of domestic kitchens.


Knowing this I whipped up the batter the night before we set off, adding a little extra milk to allow for the invariable thickening that would happen over night in the fridge.. oh yes, we also had a fridge in the garage.

I use this recipe ratio:

Ingredient:

1 1/4 cup Whole Milk
1 1/2 cup All Purpose/Plain Flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt

I multiplied this recipe by 5 to make half a gallon of mix which kept the thirteen of us fed over two mornings.

I also brought a pint of fresh blue berries, chocolate chips and a few bananas for toppings.

I don't use sugar in my basic pancake batter because I like to mix up my toppings and fillings between sweet and savoury, plus the caramalised fruits always add enough sweetness


To cook the pancakes I let the cast iron skillet heat up on the grill surface then threw in a little margarine, I used margarine (or buttery flavoured spread) intentionally instead of butter just because I knew I was working with a heat that was tricky to regulate or change quickly, which could lend itself to burnt butter very quickly. Another option would be to use ghee which would give an AMAZING flavour, I'm considering another camping trip just to do this....

 After the fat was melted and sizzly, I poured in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan and, using a kitchen towel, lifted the pan to swoosh the batter around the pan so it was even.

I then threw on the toppings, I was a big fan of the blueberries as they softened a burst as they cooked, making their own syrup. Though i'm not personally a huge fan of bananas I couldn't help but sneak a taste of Charlie's pancake as they looked so tasty all golden brown and caramalised!

The choclate chips were also popular amongst the pancake devourers- some people even went for the trifecta, a super fancy way of saying we threw in everything we had and it was damn good!

The cast iron pan's weight made pancake flipping impossible (which I was secretly pretty happy about because I'm RUBBISH at pancake flipping..  I think it's a confidence thing). Once the top of my pancake was set, after a couple of minutes, and I could prise the edges away from the pad I'd nab the pan off the grill and set it on the brick side of the fire pit to do a quick flip (very quick as I only had a plastic spatula... duh, thanks kitchen renovation madness!)then return the pan to the grill to finish off the other side for 3 or 4 minutes.

There were no frills with presentation, hungry camper don't worry too much about that sort of thing!

Check out my lakeside campfire pancake cooking session in the video below and on my YouTube channel!


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