Happy Shrove Tuesday i.e. Pancake Day! Everyone's getting into the mood and I've been bookmarking too many pancake ideas and toppings and fillings recipes the past week. I love my sourdough crepes, topped with some caramelised fruits and better yet, with homemade ice cream too. It felt time for something savoury though, since it was almost lunchtime, and I couldn't decide between sweet or savoury, so here we go with pears and bacon and cheese.
Pancakes are so very versatile that way, and the idea of a pancake is so loosely defined anyway, anything that kind of involves a batter and is fried in a pan kind of constitutes a pancake. The British idea of pancake is very different from the fluffy American version I grew up associating pancakes with, it's kind of..flat if you know what I mean. I leave it to you whether you call this a pancake or a crepe.
Crispy Sourdough Pancakes with Caramelised Asian Pears and Bacon
4 sourdough crepes (I re-heated some defrosted ones that I've made earlier)
1 large pear, peeled and sliced (I used an Asian pear)
4 slices of bacon, cut into half so you get 8 shorter slices
handful of grated raw farmhouse cheddar (or melting cheese of choice)
2 tbsp unrefined cane sugar (adjust according to sweetness of pear and your taste)
1 tbsp grassfed butter
1. For bacon:
Add bacon to a cold skillet with just a tiny bit of olive oil (it will release its own yummy fat to cook in later) and let cook and crisp up over medium heat, turning once to let it brown on the other side. Set aside on a paper towel to drain, pour away the bacon fat but don't bother to clean the pan really well. (When I say pour away, I mean, save the bacon fat for another day to use in stir-fries or salad dressings)
2. For pears:
Toss the pears with the unrefined sugar. Add the butter to the slightly-bacon-greased skillet. When it just starts to foam, add the sugar-coated pears and let caramelise slowly, turning so both sides are browned.
3. To assemble:
Place the crepe best side down, place bacon down first, followed by the caramelised pears, and sprinkle the cheese over. Try to be fair and divide evenly. Bring the 2 sides together to form a pocket, or you can fold whichever way you like! Place into a pre-heated oven, and grill on high till the crepe is crispy and the cheese has melted and 'glued' everything together.
Asian pears are juicier and crunchier and have a more mellow sweetness to them than your usual Comice or Conference pears, but really, any pear or sweet fruit would be great against the crispy salty bacon. I've done a non-bacon version with gingery caramelised peaches and yogurt before, which could definitely work. This is really quite versatile so you could do this with your normal pancake too, though the tangy heartier flavours of the sourdough crepes make this even more so yummy, and a sourdough starter isn't too difficult to make. Well, maybe not in a day, but who's to stop you from declaring it your own pancake day next Tuesday ;)