Friday, May 1, 2020

Remembering Eddie Doucette's Pancake Plantation Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois, and their Fabulous French Pancake Recipe.

Eddie Doucette's Pancake Plantation had two locations in Chicago around the 1950s and '60s. The first one was on Chicago's Far North Side at 2601 West Touhy Avenue on the south-west corner of Rockwell. 

The second location was on Chicago's South East Side at 2015 East 71st Street, at Chappel Avenue.
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Light, Golden Brown Waffles.
Ham Sausage and Bacon.
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Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.


Eddie Doucette's Fabulous Pancake Base Recipe

This is as close to the original New France (Canada), 18th Century recipe that Eddie Doucette based his restaurants' pancakes on. American colonists called them Peter Cook's Pancakes. I don't know the original French recipe name nor how Eddie tweaked the recipe to make it truly his.

This is the batter for their "Apple Yummy," and "Dutch Nanies" pancakes. Their "French Fried" pancakes are the same recipe but cooked on a griddle.

You'll be pleasantly surprised at just how good these pancakes are! Be sure to follow this recipe to the "T" the first time.


INGREDIENTS (applicable to the 1700s time period)
  • 1/4 cup Butter OR 1/2 stick of Butter
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk (fresh milk; non-pasteurized & unhomogenized)[1]
  • 2 large Eggs, refrigerated (fresh eggs at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup all­ purpose Flour (extra fine stone­ground wheat flour)
  • 1 Pinch of Nutmeg[2]
  • 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar (sifted sugar)[3]
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
MODERN DAY DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. 
  • Mix flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl. 
  • Melt butter in shallow 9-inch pyrex baking dish. 
  • When butter is very hot and sizzling, pour batter into a buttered dish and put it immediately in the oven. 
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned and very puffy. 
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon juice.
NOTE: If a double recipe is required, make the 2 pancakes in separate baking dishes. Do not combine in one baking dish because it will not rise properly.



[1] MILK was not a commonly consumed beverage until the 19th century and even then it was risky drinking it prior to pasteurization (heating it to kill bacteria) and homogenization (mixing large quantities together to dilute potential illnesses caused by the cow ingesting poisonous plants). People who drank milk did so as soon as it left the cow or shortly thereafter; they didn't store it as they had no means to inexpensively do so.

[2] NUTMEG - Although today we’re primarily familiar with nutmeg as a powder that comes in little plastic bottles, it’s actually the pit of the fruit of a tree native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia. Throughout the 18th century, the Dutch controlled the Banda Islands, keeping nutmeg scarce and prices high in international markets. In America, where nutmeg was a popular flavor in 18th and early 19th-century cooking, the spice was extraordinarily expensive — so expensive, unscrupulous vendors allegedly tried to replicate nutmeg with wood.

[3] POWDERED SUGARFrom the 16th century to the 18th century, consumers got their sugar in varying degrees refinement. Sugar was sold in the form of loaves or cones and pieces were cut from them with the use of a tool called a sugar cutter.  As a result, recipes from this period often included directions for clarifying (of sugar cane juices extracted from sugar canes) and sifted (through a sieve) sugar. 
An 18th Century Sugar Cutter.
The earliest form of powdered sugar was sugar that had been grated from a loave or cone. The grated sugar could then be sifted, numerous times. This sifted sugar was the first form of powdered sugar. With sifting, the finer sugar granules would be separated from the larger ones. 

NOTE: The number followed by an "X" on the package of powdered sugar refers to the number of times it was sifted.

1 comment:

  1. The pancake recipe is much like a "German Pancake" or "Dutch Baby" as served these days at the various Walker Brother pancake houses. The NYT cookbook also has a similar recipe for "David Eyre's Pancake." Whatever you call them, they're delicious and fun to cook. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete

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