Inspired by the crepes a la mode at Bliss Cafe in Baguio City, I decided to make a very Filipino pancake breakfast — banana-stuffed pancakes with coco jam.
Coco jam? Yes, that’s short for coconut jam. Coco jam was a term I would never have recognized as a child although I gorged myself with it. I knew coco jam as “latik” back then. My grandmother always had a jar of latik somewhere and I would often get a spoon, scoop the thing from the jar and eat the sweet, sticky jam off the spoon. I bought a jar of coco jam several weeks ago just on a whim. I don’t spread coco jam on bread — it tastes funny. I was inspecting the jars in the fridge yesterday when inspiration hit me.
The following recipe yields four thin pancakes though not as thin as French-style crepes. The pancakes just have to be thin enough to be pliable since they have to be folded after the bananas are in place.
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups milk
- 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 large ripe bananas I recommend the lakatan variety
- 1 tablespoon kalamansi or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinammon
- coco jam as much as you like
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and butter, and stir well.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add to the egg-milk-butter mixture and mix until smooth.
Pour enough batter into a non-stick pan to cover about three-fourths of the bottom. Twirl the pan to allow the batter to spread. You want the pancakes to be really thin so that you can fold them in half without cracking.
Cook the pancake until lightly browned on the underside. Flip to brown the opposite side. Lift with a spatula, transfer to a plate and fold in half.
Repeat until all the batter has been used.
Keep the pancakes warm.
Peel and slice the bananas into rings. Place the sliced bananas in a bowl, pour the kalamansi or lemon juice over them and toss lightly. You're adding a sour juice for two reasons: 1) it prevents the bananas from getting discolored (they do darken once exposed to air) and 2) to create a contrast with the sweetness of the coco jam.
Take one pancake and unfold. Arrange banana slices on half of the pancake. Sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon. Fold the pancake. Do the same for the rest of the pancakes.
Dip a spoon into the jar of coco jam. Left then position over the prepared pancake. Let the ribbons of coco jam fall on pancakes and around it. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.