This is one of the first recipes I learnt when I was a little girl of around 10. The recipe came from my mum’s Australian Women’s Weekly Cook Book – a gift she was given either as a wedding present or as a gift from her workmates before she left to give birth to me. I remember I used to sit for long periods of time, just reading the recipes and staring longingly at the delicious photos of sweets and cakes, then try and wrap my head around the complex looking method for making a cheesecake crust and lining a tin with it. This is the front cover:
This recipe could be found in the ‘batters’ chapter of the book. My mum used to make these for us kids, and she would affectionately refer to them as ‘piglets’ (when they were actually pikelets). Unfortunately, this meant that I called them piglets for quite a long time, not even realising their proper name was pikelets.
I quickly learnt this recipe off by heart because I’ve made them so many times. In fact, when I was in high school I remember whipping them up a few times as a spur of the moment thing at friends’ places. Every time I make them I’m immediately transported back to my childhood. We always added sultanas to ours, the textural ‘pop’ you get as your teeth sink into the plumped up sultanas in the cooked batter was what we loved most. We ate them as they were, piping hot, or with some butter.
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup of Self Raising flour
0.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 to 1 cup of soured milk (depending on how runny you want the batter) – I now use buttermilk whenever I have it, but we always used to use normal milk with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to sour it
1 dessertspoon of butter, melted
0.5 cup sultanas (optional – you can add none, less, or more, depending on what you like)
1. Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl
2. Add the sugar and combine with flour
3. Make a well in the centre and add the egg
4. Beat the egg into the flour whilst slowly adding the soured milk or buttermilk
5. Stir in the melted butter
6. Add the sultanas ( you could add anything else you like here too – e.g. dates, lemon or orange zest, cinnamon, banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, nuts, chocolate – anything you like!)
7. The batter is now ready for use, heat a frypan or crepe pan with some unflavoured oil (e.g. canola) or use clarified butter (ghee)
8. Place tablespoon-sized portions of butter onto the hot pan
9. When you see bubbles forming on the pikelets, flip them over
10. Once browned on both sides, pop them onto a plate
11. I like to serve them with butter and maple syrup, but you could have them on their own or with jam and cream, honey and ricotta – use your imagination!