Posted by: ktzefr | December 31, 2012

New Year’s Traditions: Clementine Paddleford’s Pancakes


Squirrels dressed for Christmas; Photo:KFawcett

Squirrels dressed for Christmas; Photo:KFawcett

I love the traditions of the holidays, from putting up decorations to spending time with family and friends, the local festival of lights, candlelight service at church, and, of course, the food.  Tomorrow for New Year’s brunch I’ll make Clementine Paddleford’s pancakes.  I’ve been flipping these for more than thirty years, but until a few years back I had no idea who Clementine Paddleford was or how she came up with such luscious recipes.  This is odd for me since I’m usually obsessive about looking up stuff, finding answers, but I was satisfied for a couple of decades just enjoying the pancakes.

Ms. Paddleford was a food writer (check out her books HERE), born in Kansas but lived in New York City, who traveled the country tasting and writing about the regional foods of the US.  The following quote is from a 2005 New York Times article:

“CLEMENTINE PADDLEFORD was the Nellie Bly of culinary journalism, a go-anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories in a day when very few food editors strayed far from their desks.”

These pancakes are not typical US fare and certainly not a recipe that Clementine happened across in her travels.  The recipe for hot cakes in Grand Marnier sauce is her own creation.  I discovered it in The New Spirit of Grand Cuisine by Saul Krieg, a little paperback that cost $1.50 back in the early 1970s.  It is described on the cover as “An exciting collection of recipes and international holiday menus for home entertaining from the greatest chefs and restaurants in the world.”  You can buy a used copy for 95 cents or a new one for $20.  It’s a treasure of wonderful old (and often classic) recipes from Maxim’s in France, Antoine’s in New Orleans, La Grenouille in New York, Dave Chasen’s in Hollywood, and others.  So, without further ado…


Clementine Paddleford’s Grand Marnier Pancakes

The pancakes:

1 egg, well beaten, 1 1/2 cups milk, 3 tablespoons oil, 2 cups pancake mix, 1 cup minced cooked ham, 1 tablespoon butter.  Combine all but ham and beat until smooth.  Add ham.  Shape 3″ pancakes on a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan.  Cook as usual. (Or make pancakes according to your favorite recipe, adding the ham.)

The Sauce:

1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, 1/3 cup yellow raisins, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier.  Mix sugar with cornstarch.  Gradually stir in pineapple juice and raisins.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.  Stir in remaining ingredients, adding Grand Marnier last.  Reheat slightly, but do not boil.  Spoon over pancake stacks. 



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