Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey & Vanilla Butter

*Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey & Vanilla Butter*
Serves 4

In honor of fresh berries and strawberry season.  Feel free to substitute other berries for the strawberries.  Blueberries, raspberries and even sliced banana works well!

100g self raising flour (14 1/2 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
25g caster sugar (2 TBS)
pinch fine sea salt
2 large free range eggs,separated
175ml butter milk (scant 3/4 cup)
40ml whole milk (3 TBS)
45g sweet butter, melted (3 TBS)
a handful of fresh strawberries, chopped

For the honey and vanilla butter:
100g butter, soft (scant 1/2 cup)
3 TBS clear acacia honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

First make the butter.   Tip all of the ingredients for the butter into a bowl and simply beat together with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.   Spoon into a small bowl and cover.  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl.   Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and milk.   Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.  Tip in the wet ingredients along with 15g of the butter (1 TBS).  Whisk together until smooth.   Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Fold these into the pancake batter.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Brush with some of the remaining melted butter.  Add 3 to 4 large spoonfuls of the batter, spacing them well apart.  Scatter the tops of each with a few slices of berry.  Cook for several minutes, until the surface is covered with bubbles and the bottom side is golden brown.  Flip over and cook for another minute until cooked through and golden brown on the underside as well.  Place onto an ovenproof platter, cover with a clean tea towel and keep warm in a low oven until you have cooked them all.

Serve hot at the table with the butter.  Delicious.    Crisp slices of streaky smoked bacon go very well!

Note:  If you really want to be decadent you can add crumbled crisp meringues and then call them Eton Mess Pancakes!
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