I just got back from a whirlwind fun time couple of days in Manhattan with my kids. Such a trip can be overwhelming with all the amazing restaurant choices and attractions. It took me a good two weeks to plan our itinerary to help skew things down and manage our time. One of the highlights of the trip was brunch at Clinton Street Baking Company.
Upon arrival, we checked in with the concierge at our hotel, Intercontinental Barclay…well situated and well priced btw…to ensure directions to our planned destinations. When it came to discussing brunch options, he said the stand in line time at Clinton Street was horrible…however well worth the wait.
Clinton Street Baking Company is voted the best in New York for pancakes and touted by Martha. The pics on Google images looked normal…but the clincher for me was that they opened early. It’s situated fairly close to Soho. However it’s not within walking distance. So in and out of the Yellow taxis we all trotted to get a taste of this popular brunch. Popular is an understatement. Apparently, there is most always a 2 hour wait to get in. I pleaded with the hostess, we came all the way from Canada blah blah blah…but there were 40 people ahead of us. Searching for a solution, I had a lightbulb moment. I asked her if they serve take out. This lovely smiley faced ambassador of breakfast joint, happily handed me the take out menu. I ordered the blueberry pancakes, side of sugar cured bacon (to die for…really), my son and his g/f ordered the benny and blueberry pancakes to share, and my daughter ordered the classic brunch with scrambled eggs, hash browns, ham (given to bro and g/f), and this heavenly biscuit. Everything served warm and melty. I’ll need to deal with the biscuit recipe in a future post.
While we waited a mere 10 minutes, my son and his g/f went scouting for a place to eat. About a block away, nestled in some foliage, was a public park. Looked like someone’s backyard. A big round table with umbrella…tomato plants…private…nice. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! We felt we lucked out not eating in the tightly crammed restaurant. Enjoying each other’s company in a beautiful outdoor locale is the way to go.
Onto the food, this brunch was OUTSTANDING to say the least. The pancakes so fluffy, the biscuit so crusty, tender and buttery. The baked brown sugar cured bacon thick and salty sweet, the compotes and jams pure homemade fruity goodness, i.e. not too sweet, buttery sweet maple butter for pouring, and the coffee so rich and yummy. It was all scrumptious. We were in heaven. I found the recipe for the blueberry pancakes just for your eating pleasure. No need for a trip to NYC to enjoy these bakery goodness delights. Company of loved ones might be a necessary component for the full experience.
Clinton Street Baking Company Pancakes Makes close to 20 x 3 inch pancakes
4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon coarse salt 6 large eggs, separated 3 cups whole milk 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 teaspoons unmelted for cooking 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups blueberries or sliced bananas and 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar for dusting (optional) Maple Butter
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl.
In medium bowl, whisk together yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined. Whisk yolk mixture into flour mixture until just combined; batter will be slightly lumpy.
Place egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or whisk by hand, until medium peaks form.
Gently mix half the egg whites into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining whites. The egg whites should not be fully incorporated into the batter.
Heat a griddle until hot, about 350 to 375 degrees.
Add remaining unmelted butter to hot griddle. Add 1/4 cup pancake batter and let set. (we made 6 inch ones like we had in Manhattan). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon blueberries or sliced bananas and 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts, if using, over pancakes. When bubbles begin to form, lift pancake; if golden brown, turn. Cook until golden brown on remaining side.
Transfer cooked pancake to a plate and keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter, fruit, and nuts.
Garnish with confectioners’ sugar for blueberry pancakes and cinnamon sugar for banana-walnut. Serve warm with maple butter.
Maple Butter Makes 2 cups
1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade-B organic 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Heat maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cold butter to warm syrup, whisking until sauce is smooth and all of the butter is incorporated.
Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to use.
Maple Butter can also be kept refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to two months. Reheat before using, but never bring to a boil.