Winter is well and truly here. Skies are grey, air is crisp and days become shorter and shorter. It´s dark and frosty when I get up in the morning and the afternoons rapidly turn into dusk. The streets are silent, litten by random light of laterns and curtains are drawn tight against the cold. It´s time for slow cooked meals, hearty soups and sweet puddings, meat stews and apple pies to help me warm up and bring back my childhood memories. What´s better than a flickering fire and big bowl of good old fashioned comfort food on a cold winter day?
I have a few winter favourites which help me through this long and cold season, but if I had to choose one, it would be pancakes. Quess whom I owe this recipe? It´s not my mum and even not my beloved granny Anna, it was my boyfriend, who made the truly best pancakes in the world. It was our Sunday morning ritual repeated over the years as we both were students at Vienna´s university. We slept until midday and then Boris tiptoed into our tiny kitchen with creaky floors and started to prepare the batter. He mixed flour with eggs, adding a pinch of sparkling water – that was his secret ingredient which created a lot of bubbles and made the pancakes deliciously fluffy. We ate them sweet with greek honey we brought from our summer vacation or with stewed vanilla apples, sometimes filled with curd cheese and raisins soaked in rhum overnight or simple with jam and Nutella-spread.
Now many years later I follow his recipe, faithfully adding a little sparkling water into the batter. It reminds me of our lazy, cosy breakfasts which often lasted into late afternoons.
Then fry pancakes on each side until golden and brush with melted butter. It will keep them moist and shiny and give them an extra nutty taste.
If there are some pancakes left on a second day, I often prepare a filling with steamed apples. I cut 3 large sweet-sour apples into cubes, add some brown sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and stew them until soft and creamy. I fill the cold pancakes with apples and fry them over in a pan with butter until crisp and golden. Truth be said, sometimes they are even more delicious on a second day.
Now it´s your turn to tell me about your favourite comfort food. I´m all ears!