Bon appetit again, y’all


Epicurean Virginia Willis’ second book, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, a follow-up to her inaugural cookbook, Bon Appetit, Y’all, features 150 recipes that rely on fine ingredients and French technique to turn a basic recipe into something brilliant. Willis (AB ’88), an Augusta native who earned her degree in history, is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, and has served as kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television and executive producer of the Discovery Channel’s “Epicurious.”

Recipe from Basic to Brilliant, y’all

Sweet Peach Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Pinch of fine sea salt

1 cup low-fat or whole milk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more if needed

2 to 3 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced

Sorghum, cane syrup, or maple syrup for accompaniment

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl. Combine the milk, egg and butter in a large liquid measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Preheat the oven to 300°F.  Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with canola oil. Add 2 peach slices, then ladle 1/4 cup of batter over the peaches for each pancake, cooking only a few at a time. Cook until the bubbles on top burst and the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining peach slices and batter, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.

Honey Nut Butter

Peaches and almonds have a natural affinity because they are related.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 1 cup slivered almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the almonds are golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Purée until very finely ground. Add 1 tablespoon honey. Makes 1 cup. To serve, scoop a dollop of the honey butter on top of the peaches. Top with syrup of your choice.

Sweet Peach Pancakes