Monday, June 6, 2011

Part 2. The tiny oven.

When you're browsing for apartments, after a while they all sort of mesh together. We knew the area we wanted, which is expensive, so we tried to find one that gave us more for our money.  Some of these places we looked at were just plain nasty, but then we finally found one we both really liked and decided to take it. Immediately. That's the other thing about Uptown apartment hunting, these suckers go fast. Especially if they are livable. By livable, I mean clean, appropriate amount of counter space, floors still intact and utilities working. It's a great apartment, don't get me wrong, but the one thing that went wrong was the oven. I'm still unsure about it. It's MUCH smaller than I remember.  I can literally  fit a cookie sheet in there, but only if it's turned a certain way.  The stove top is great, and it's a gas oven, so it's should work fine. It's just much smaller than I have been using, which may end up challenging me in a good way.  I just won't be making Thanksgiving dinner in this oven any time soon, that's all.

I actually haven't baked in my new oven yet, so I haven't figured out if it's temperature is true to the dial.  It's been incredibly hot outside and I finally just got all of my kitchen items unpacked and washed up. We do still need to eat though, so I made Buttermilk Pancakes with Rhubarb Syrup.  I know, I know. Enough with the rhubarb already. I just can't help it! It's delicious and there is only a month or so left while it's still in season! I'm not normally a big pancake person, but I thought the syrup looked too good so I had to make them. They are some rich pancakes. Butter, sour cream, and buttermilk. Uffda. They were gooooood. The syrup was almost too easy to make. The hardest thing  you will have to do with it is chop enough rhubarb to fill a cup.

I'm going to give you the pancake recipe as well as the syrup one.  I  want to make a bold statement and say that these pancakes will be better than the "Batter Blaster" ones. You know, the batter than you squirt out of an aerosol can? Oddly enough, they advertise that stuff as organic. Seriously? How can it be? Oh, well. I shouldn't judge, I've never actually tried them, but I still bet these are better.

Buttermilk Pancakes


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 - 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set inside baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with few streaks of flour). Do not over mix. Allow batter to sit 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out oil, leaving thin film of oil on bottom and sides of pan. Using ¼ cup measure, portion batter into pan in 4 places. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately, or transfer to wire rack in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as necessary.

Rhubarb Syrup
1 cup coarsely chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
pinch of salt

In small saucepan, combine all ingredients with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until fruit breaks down and syrup thickens, about 30 minutes.  Pour over vanilla ice cream, yogurt, pound cake or pancakes.

The pancake recipe came from Cooks Illustrated. I really like their magazines and the books are swell too. Oh, and I have no idea where I got this rhubarb syrup recipe. I ripped the page out of some periodical, but can't seem to remember which one. Sorry!  Try these pancakes out, or use the Batter Blaster and just make the syrup. I'm still unsure about what I should bake first in our new oven. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Thanks! Stay nifty, reader. Happy baking.

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