Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today I qualified for Social Security. When I look in the mirror I don't see a 62 year old who's been retired for 7 years--I am blind as a bat and stand across the room from the mirror. I know it's true, though, because I have the time now to write this blog, to devote hours to my passion for quilting and beading, and because I could vacation for 2 weeks on what I spend for moisturizer in a year.

I recently spent 3 days at a Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshop at the Greenville Arms in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. Along with 8 other bead enthusiasts, I spent from 10-12 hours a day happily beading and laughing and, in general, having the kind of good time women have when they share a passion for art and living. The Greenville Arms is a lovely Bed and Breakfast and one of the specials on my last day was these pancake muffins with strawberry syrup. I did not try them, though they got rave reviews from all who did. I had already seen them on Chef Mark LaPolla's blog and decided to make them when I returned home. Since strawberries are no longer in season, I used some gorgeous fresh blueberries to make my syrup. I also halved the recipe, but got 12 muffins plus a small "cake" that resembled a Dutch baby.

Here is Mark's recipe with some notes from my experience:

Makes 24 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray

2-1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of pastry flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

6 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated in two bowls.

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

6 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature (in a pinch, milk with a tsp of white vinegar will do)

Prepare the Muffins:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Generously spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until firm, but not dry. About 2 - 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on medium-high until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow. About 6 minutes. Add the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla; mix on medium-low until combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter, leaving some streaks.

Fill the muffin pans, about 1/2 cup of the batter into each muffin cup. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, about 20 to 25 minutes total.

Prepare the Strawberries in Syrup

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup quartered, hulled ripe strawberries (fresh blueberries were a wonderful substitution)

In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Put the strawberries in the syrup and turn off the heat. Set aside in a warm spot.

To Serve:

Pop the muffins out of the cups and arrange 2 to a plate, spoon syrup and strawberries of the muffins, and then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Have the sous chef take care of the dishes!
I didn't have pastry flour, but found a substitution using cornstarch. I was expecting these to behave and taste like popovers, but to my great surprise, they were a lovely cross between a cake-like muffin and a buttermilk pancake. Two was more than enough for a satisfying breakfast and, according to Chef Mark, they are even better after being frozen, defrosted, and reheated. A bit fussy to make, but a real treat for Sunday brunch.


  1. Arlene- I LOVE your new profile picture! You look gorgeous in the blue top:) So glad that you were able to have fun with some ladies that share the same passion. Sometimes nothing beats sitting around with a bunch of women who have so much in common with you.
    I love the look of these muffins and think they are a keeper of a recipe. SO much easier than flipping a bunch of pancakes and trying to keep the first few warm so that everyone can eat together. I'll be trying these!

  2. The glaze make those muffins inviting. I am a big maple syrup fan so I have no doubt I will love these muffins. Spending time with people who share the same passion is joy.

  3. Thanks, Kim. Went to my cousin's wedding a few weeks ago and had someone take my picture since my hair is back to normal after a few years of very bad cutting. It's very hard to take your own photo! These muffins really did reheat well, too.

  4. I don't know how you resisted trying them at the B&B--they look fabulous. (and to echo Kim, so do you in your picture!) ;-)

  5. I resisted trying the pancake muffins because I had someone willing to poach eggs for me, lol. These really are delicious and they reheat from frozen beautifully. I'm going to make another batch this weekend. (thanks for the kind words on my new profile shot)


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