Bacon blueberry & Cheshire pancakes 1.jpg

Ingredients :

250g streaky bacon

200g Cheshire cheese (or any white crumbly cheese)

300g self-raising flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

2 small eggs (discard half the white of the second egg if using medium or large eggs)

450ml milk

10-15g melted butter

200g blueberries

light vegetable oil or a low calorie cooking spray

maple syrup to taste.

Method :

Begin by lining the inside of a large baking tray and the outside (or reverse) of a slightly smaller baking tray, with silver foil.  Lay each rasher of streaky bacon onto the large baking tray until the tray is covered or the bacon runs out!  Place the foil covered side of the smaller baking tray on top, to sandwich the bacon between the trays.  Place into a 180degF/350degC/Gas 4 oven for 20-25 minutes.

Crumble the cheese into a bowl, making sure to have both larger chunks and smaller pieces.

Next, for the pancakes, place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir together.

In another bowl, add the egg(s) to the milk and beat until combined.

Melt the butter in the pancake pan.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in half the egg/milk mixture.  Stir with a hand whisk until combined, then add the remains of the egg/milk mixture.  Again, stir in until combined and the batter is lump free.

Add the melted butter to the pancake batter and whisk it in until well combined.

Stir in 150g of the blueberries.

Heat the pancake pan (which should still be buttery) over a moderate heat and add a ladleful of the pancake batter, making sure to catch a good helping of the blueberries.

Wait - without poking, stirring or otherwise bothering your pancake - until bubbles have formed on the surface and you can see the edges have pulled away from the pan slightly.  Insert a fish slice under the pancake and quickly flip it over.  The pancake will rise as it cooks and you can slip the slice underneath and lift it slightly to check the colour.  Make sure that the pan doesn't become too hot - you may need to turn it down slightly from time to time - or the pancake will colour on the outside but still be wet on the inside.

Each pancake will only take a couple of minutes on each side, depending on how hot the pan is.

Place each pancake onto a warmed plate and cover with a sheet of kitchen paper, adding the next one on top and repeat until all the pancake batter is used up.

When all the pancakes are cooked, serve two to each plate and sprinkle with Cheshire cheese, then bacon pieces, then extra blueberries from the remaining 50g.

For the final flourish, tip a good swishing of maple syrup over the lot and get stuck in!

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