This is one of those recipes that’s unabashedly multigrained. The multigrains aren’t sneaking in, trying to pretend this is a regular pancake recipe that just happens to be a little healthier. No, these pancakes are multigrain all the way.
They’re also, possibly, my favorite pancakes ever. I’m finding that I really enjoy recipes that have whole grain as the primary flavor.
The ingredient list is a little long for pancakes, and the food processor has to be used to grind up the muesli. I won’t lie that I think that’s a hassle, so what I’ve started doing is grinding the whole box of muesli at once (minus the small portion that’s added to the pancakes unground). That makes the effort involved with making these similar to a regular pancake recipe.
I don’t always serve these with the apple topping; they’re just as good with maple syrup. But it’s November and apples and cranberries and nuts just seem appropriate. Not only does the topping make these pancakes even more delicious and special than they already are, but it adds a nice serving of fruit to an already fiber-rich breakfast. You can’t beat that.
Multigrain Pancakes (from Cooks Illustrated November 2006)
Serves 4 to 6.
CI note: Familia-brand no-sugar-added muesli is the best choice for this recipe. If you can’t find Familia, look for Alpen or any no-sugar-added muesli. (If you can’t find muesli without sugar, muesli with sugar added will work; reduce the brown sugar in the recipe to 1 tablespoon.) Mix the batter first and then heat the pan. Letting the batter sit while the pan heats will give the dry ingredients time to absorb the wet ingredients, otherwise the batter will be runny. Unless you have a pastry brush with heatproof bristles, a paper towel is the best means of coating the pan surface with oil. Pancakes will hold for 20 minutes when placed on a greased rack set on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven. Serve with maple syrup or Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Topping.
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups whole milk
1¼ cups no-sugar-added muesli (6 ounces), plus an additional 3 tablespoons
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3¾ ounces)
½ cup whole wheat flour (2¾ ounces)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk lemon juice and milk together in medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup; set aside to thicken while preparing other ingredients.
2. Process 1¼ cups muesli in food processor until finely ground, 2 to 2½ minutes; transfer to large bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons unground muesli, flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine.
3. Whisk eggs, melted butter, and vanilla into milk until combined. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (few streaks of flour and lumps should remain). Do not overmix. Allow batter to sit while pan heats.
4. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon oil and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Following instructions below, add 1 tablespoon batter to gauge temperature of pan. Pour ¼ cup batter onto 3 spots in skillet, using bottom of ladle to spread batter smooth if necessary. Cook pancakes until small bubbles begin to appear evenly over surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing surface of pan lightly with oil between batches and adjusting heat if necessary.
Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Topping for Pancakes (from Cooks Illustrated November 2006)
Serves 4 to 6.
CI note: The test kitchen prefers semifirm apples such as Fuji, Gala, or Braeburn for this topping. Avoid very tart types like Granny Smith and soft varieties like McIntosh.
3½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 sweet apples (medium), peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups) (see note above)
Pinch table salt
1 cup apple cider
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in cider and cranberries; cook until liquid has almost evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and remaining butter; whisk until sauce is smooth. Serve with toasted nuts.