Recipe: Wonderfall's Fig Pancakes

Happy Comic Con weekend, everybody!  While I didn't attend the con this year, the news and pictures and panel videos that come out this weekend are always a lot of fun for genre fans the world over.  A couple friends of mine managed to get in on Thursday and Friday, and even attend the Hannibal panel, which, if you've been reading this blog regularly, you know is a pretty big deal to me.

At the Hannibal panel was Caroline Dhavernas, who plays Alana Bloom on Hannibal and was also the star of one of Bryan Fuller's earlier shows, Wonderfalls.  On that show Lee Pace, who also starred in Fuller's Pushing Daisies, played Caroline's brother, and with Pace in attendance at Comic Con to promote the final Hobbit movie, we got a mini-Wonderfalls reunion, thanks to Bryan Fuller's twitter.

Dhavernas and Pace were a lot of fun to watch as brother and sister on Wonderfalls, a show where Dhavernas played Jaye Tyler, an apathetic twenty-something working at a souvenir shop in Niagara Falls, whose life gets complicated when inanimate objects start talking to her and telling her what to do.

In one of my favorite episodes, Jaye unwittingly gets her family housekeeper deported back to Canada when a cow creamer tells her to have a fig pancake (it makes sense in the episode, I promise).  And Pace's character, Aaron, starts to cotton on to the fact that things may not be quite right with his sister.  Here's a scene of the two on their way to smuggle housekeeper Yvette back across the border:

So, with a Wonderfalls reunion happening at Comic Con, and fresh figs making an appearance at the neighborhood farmer's market, I was inspired to make some fig pancakes in honor of the short-lived series.

Now, here's a little secret about pancakes:  they're super easy to customize.  All you need is one good, basic recipe, and from there you can add all sorts of flavors, nuts, berries, or even candy that you like.  My basic recipe is easy enough that you may even be able to memorize it.  Just remember: 1 cup of flour - 1 egg - 1 cup of milk.  From there, it's just a little sugar and salt for flavor, baking powder for fluffiness, and melted butter or oil to keep your pancake from sticking to the pan.  That's it.

But that's also just the beginning.  Once you've got that down, you can add spices, extracts, zests, and mix-ins to your heart's content.  Just remember to add spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves) with the dry ingredients, extracts (vanilla, almond) and zests (lemon, orange) with the wet, and mix-ins (berries, chocolate chips, walnuts) after the batter comes together.

Basic Pancakes (makes 4-5 large pancakes)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil

Additions for Fig Pancakes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup chopped dried figs

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat together egg, milk, and lemon zest.  Mix together until just combined, then gently stir in melted butter.  There should be lumps in the batter.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of canola oil.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and top with pieces of fig.  Wait until bubbles start to form in the batter and the edges pull away from the pan.  Flip with a spatula.  Cook until golden brown on each side. 

I like these pancakes with a good drizzle of honey rather than maple syrup.  And be sure to serve with some fresh figs and nice crispy bacon.