Ron Silver knows a thing or two about pancakes. He’s the chef and owner of Bubby’s, a New York institution in Tribeca that’s a brunch hotspot. Their pancakes are a staple – I recommend James Beard’s topped with blueberries – but if you can’t make it to Bubby’s, Chef Silver has graciously shared his top tips for achieving pancake perfection at home.
First of all: define the perfect pancake. “The perfect pancake is the James Beard inspired pancake that we make at Bubby’s,” said Silver. He took the recipe from James Beard’s American Cuisine and modified it to make it his own. “These pancakes are very chewy, slightly sweet, easy to eat and light, so they dissolve when you put them in your mouth.”
Sour cream is Silver’s secret ingredient for perfect pancakes. “When I was quite young, around 24, I replaced some of the milk with sour cream in James Beard’s pancake recipe, which added body to the pancakes,” he said. . “It gives them a slightly tart flavor that pairs well with the super sweet maple syrup.”
Some common pitfalls to avoid when making pancakes at home are over-mixing your batter and underheating your nonstick pan or griddle. “If you mix too much, you get the wrong type of flat pancake,” Silver said. “If your plancha is not hot enough, the pancakes will not turn golden.” If your pancakes are sticking to the cooking surface, lower the heat and add a little butter. “The butter will help bring out the pancakes,” he said.
After making your pancake batter, Silver recommends giving it time to rest in the fridge; about 15 minutes. “You want the pancake batter to be cold before you start making your pancakes,” he said. When it’s time to cook, make a test pancake to make sure your cooking surface is well greased and at an appropriate temperature. “It’s best to use a nonstick skillet (but remember to grease well!), But a griddle is even better because it will give you more surface area to move a spatula,” Silver said.
A well greased and glued pan or griddle over low or medium heat will help ensure even cooking and prevent sticking. “If the pancakes continue to stick, it’s probably because the temperature is too high,” Silver said. You’ll know it’s time to flip when the edges of the pancake start to bubble, but you can use your spatula to peek underneath first if you’re unsure.
When it comes to toppings, Silver focuses on seasonal fruits like strawberries, rhubarb, peaches, blackberries and blueberries. “I also like the bananas sautéed on the pancakes.”
Bubby’s has made it even easier for home cooks to make delicious pancakes at home with the launch of their pancake mix ($ 12), which ships nationwide. All you need to add is an egg, butter, and milk, along with your favorite toppings.