The Walker Family Canadian Pancake
This is a breakfast that came to my home with my father. His parents were both from Canada. These were hearty people who worked hard and lived through some very difficult times.
This pancake is not traditional in any way. There is no flour, no sugar and no baking powder in this recipe. There are lots of eggs, cream, bread and bacon. This is meant to fill you up and to keep you going for several hours. During the time when this pancake was made, people physically worked harder and needed the protein, fat and calories that this hearty breakfast provided.
Once a year, I make the traditional version for my father’s birthday. Any other time, I use a heart-healthy version. The original version is completely decadent and laden with bacon grease. However, the updated and heart healthy version has all the wonderful flavor of the original with the vast majority of the fat and calories removed.
So, let’s begin with the way that I learned how to make this pancake with all the real eggs, heavy cream and bacon grease that you could possibly stand (or not) in one place at any time.
The Original Recipe
1 dozen extra large eggs
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
1 loaf of white bread
1 pound of thick cut bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
Begin by cooking the bacon in a very large cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom pan until it is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Do not remove any of the bacon grease from the pan. Yes, that is right……leave all the bacon grease. I'll bet you are thinking....she MUST be crazy!! Please understand that this recipe was concocted during the 1800s and early 1900s, well before we knew anything about the effects of that much animal fat on the human body.
Now, with that said, please feel free to use a nonstick skillet and keep just a little of the bacon grease in the pan just for flavor. If you do this, you only need a very small amount of the bacon grease (just a couple of tablespoons) for flavor.
While the bacon is cooking, beat the eggs and cream in a very large bowl until well mixed. Break up the entire loaf of bread by hand into approx. 1 inch pieces and add to the eggs and cream and mix in. After the bacon has drained a bit, add it to the egg mixture and stir to incorporate.
If necessary, reheat the bacon grease on a low flame in the cast iron skillet until hot. Pour the pancake mixture into the skillet on top of all the bacon grease. Yup…we can already feel our arteries hardening as we speak. Place a cover on the pan and cook on low until set. Once “set” in the center, the pancake needs to be turned over in the skillet. I am not brave, nor do I have the strength to “flip” this big of a pancake in the air in any kind of a skillet. So, I take a large wooden cutting board and slip the pancake out of the pan onto the cutting board, browned side down. I then spray the pan generously with cooking spray and invert the pan over the pancake, place my hand under the cutting board, hold on tight and flip. Place the pan back on the stove on low and put the cover back on the pan. Cook this until it is browned.
I have also been known to use 2 smaller pans because of the size and weight of the finished product. It comes out just as well.
Remove the pancake(s) from the pan(s) onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. My favorite way to eat this is with real Maple Syrup.
Tomorrow, I will post the heart healthy version, which is the one that I make at least once a month for my dad.