January 31, 2011

Praise For Pikelets

I remember when the kids were little and I used to take exotic homemade cakes to school and watch the mothers around me gasp with their "oooohs" and "aaaaahs". I did feel clever. Insecure too. Validation was a big thing for me back then.  

When we had get togethers and everyone brought a cake or a plate to share, I hardly ate any of  my offering.  I always found myself drawn to the humble pikelet, which was generally tacked onto the edge of the table and usually neglected until everything else disappeared.  Crazy as it may seem, I used to marvel at the honest simplicity of a pikelet.  No showcasing, no attention, no praise for the plate with pikelets.  And yet to me, they were the yummiest thing on those tables.

I guess I must come clean and confess that I really couldn't make them.  I tried a few times, but after several dismal attempts, I decided to stick to the pancake and crepe.  For me, they were effortless.  So what did I do wrong when it came to making pikelets?

I suppose I felt they were meant to be quick and easy but I overcooked them every time.  I now see that I was actually very impatient.  Pikelets require a low heat, a cast iron or a heavy based pan, and "patience" to stand there until the bubbles come to the surface before they are flipped.  Easy - yes, quick - perhaps not really.

Glancing through my latest bargain book buy, many recipes have caught my eye.  "Gran's Kitchen" has a whole preserve section and I was going nuts absorbing all her valuable information.  I turned the page - pikelets. I quickly turned to the next recipe.  And then I turned back.  Hmmm. I read the recipe and noticed it didn't used bi carb of soda.   Every recipe I've seen for pikelets contains bi carb.  Anyhow, something signalled inside of me to "have a go".  I did.  And boy am I pleased that I did.  Mitch commented on how "yummy" they were simply with butter.  Honestly, he ate heaps.  

Here I sit, finally feeling unafraid of the little, old pikelet.  This recipe is a real winner.  I recommend it. Just one thing, I usually like to let my batter recipes sit for a while after beating, about half an hour. Covered with a cloth.  I do think they come out softer that way. 

Recipe found on page 52 in "Gran's Kitchen"

Happy pikelet making. Forget those fancy shmancy complicated recipes bombarding us at every turn. Rediscover the humble pikelet.  And feel good.

PS.  There is a line in this beautiful book that I want to share with you.  This past year has shown me how people can draw strength and support for one another by communicating, crying, laughing and ultimately eating home-made food together.

"The importance of jam and cream in bonding a community should not be underestimated".
Dulcie May Booker.


  1. I love the quote and like you I'm a great believer in coming together, working together and sharing. That's the only way to a better world and more happiness.

  2. Is a pikelet the same as the american pancake and drop scones? Ive always wondered. But I like the sound of pikelets....don't you.? It sounds so cute and comforting. and yes food always is a good reason to bring people together. btw I love the first photo Mariana!

  3. Sylvie - naturally I couldn't agree more.

    Zurin - I hate to disappoint you, but I really don't know. I think the flapjack is a thicker pancake, like the pikelet, but the pikelet is smaller. I haven't a clue what a drop scone is. Scones are totally different over here and nothing like a pancake. Actually my next post will feature a popular Australian scone, so stay tuned dear. Your comment about my photo made me happy. Thanks Zurin xxx

  4. Yes, well I remember making pikelets and as soon as they were made they were disappearing as the kids just loved them and they were such a cheap cake to make and not too unhealthy either.

    I agree the photos are amasing and they just jump out at you and you can even taste the food!!

    I gather you are home and if so see you soon!! One week in fact till I return.

    I love scones in fact have a favorite scone scroll that I make.Yum

    I will be interested in seeing your recipe for them.

  5. Hello there friend. Yes, I think your kids were very fortunate to have you cook and bake lots of goodies for them. I know you saved heaps of money that way and they gained greater benefit from your food being "home-made". Muffins were your speciality as I recall. You made all sorts didn't you? All good-old fashioned filling food.

    Yes, yes I'm home. See you soon then. Great. The scone recipe incidentally is my mother-in-laws. We had them at her place on the week-end.

  6. My pikelets have always been crappy, too...maybe it was the bicarb...

    Noting the recipe now, thank you!

  7. I actually never did like pikelets growing up, perhaps this is why mother! Maybe next time you make them I'll have a little try, and see if you're right. This is a nice, simple, dainty post. Reminds me of the country, very you. I like it.
    Nicka. :)

  8. And I especially like the first picture,how positively delightful!

  9. Lucy - I hope they work out for you. Honestly, they were really delicious - and I know how much "honesty" means to you in the "kitchen". Pardon the pun.

    Hey there sweetie - I know you were so spoilt with fancy cakes and all sorts and yet I couldn't get a simple pikelet right. Funny isn't it. Your comment has made my morning.

    By the way, the cup and saucer came from your great grandmother on Dad's side of the family. Fine bone china made in England sometime back in the 1930's or 40's I think. I really should find out. Rather special don't you think? xxxx

  10. Mariana, to me, there's something quintessentially Australian about a pikelet. I wonder if they eat it all over the world? I remember when the kids were little, and they'd eat them faster than I could turn them out of the pan. Thanks for the reminisce.. :)

  11. I agree Celia. The author of the above recipe, "Gran" is actually from New Zealand. So they call it a pikelet there too. I can relate to the kids swiping them quickly. So lovely to see the "jam" queen visiting me. Thanks.

  12. I love that quote. I think I will pop it on my fridge.
    The humble pikelet is great and it's something I never make as I always add other 'stuff' to it. I think my kids would be rather thankful if I just cooked it to your recipe, so thanks :-)

  13. It's a very special quote cityhippyfarmgirl. I can well relate to it and I feel rather touched that you would pop it on your fridge. You've made my arvo. BTW - the recipe is a beauty.

  14. Hello, yes like you I LOVE this book. It typifies the days of old....when I too went to stay with my Nana at her farm in Kingaroy.....and helped out with all the farm chores.

    I haven't tried the Pikelet recipe yet but I certainly will. The Steak & Onion Pie and Supreme Fish Pie are excellent.....everything else in the book looks very inviting.
    An all round fantastic book !!!

  15. So pleased you love this book Anonymous. Sounds like you can well relate to the farm life. Thanks for dropping by.

  16. What a find this blog has been. I have made the scones, pikelets,feta and beetroot scones and to day will be lemon butter.
    I am travelling Australia so decided to purchase a small bench top oven and the fun I am having cooking.

    I have been able to use duck eggs (as we are on a farm in Qld for a few weeks and their are duck eggs galore).which seems to make the scones, pikelets fluffy.
    All my cooking has been a success due to your precise measurements.

    Your stories make the recipe even more interesting.
    I have many more to try and and I am so much enjoying cooking again.

    1. I'm not on my blog very often these days so unfortunately I've found your comment rather late. Hope you're travelling around Australia has been successful and fun. Thanks for sharing - it's nice to hear my measurements have been helpful. Take care Mariana