Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity Monday: Ham-Pancake Shortcakes

Another Monday, another questionable recipe! Everyone loves brunch, don’t they? It’s breakfast for people who are too lazy/hungover to wake up until it’s almost lunch, and it usually comes with a slice of melon. What’s not to love?

Well, someone in the test kitchens for the Family Circle Brunches and Lunches Cookbook didn’t like brunch, or at the very least they had an unusual and twisted understanding of what brunch should entail.  This recipe is basically a triple-decker pancake sandwich (sounds good so far, right?) filled with fried Spam and green beans swimming in à la king sauce (sounds a little less appetizing, right?) and topped with a spiced peach (sounds repulsive, right?).

My brother-in-law dropped by the house and gallantly offered to sample the Ham-Pancake Shortcakes with me. He said (with a straight face, no less!) that he enjoyed it and that he thought the saltiness of the Spam, the creaminess of the sauce, and the sweetness of the spiced peach complimented each other well. I honestly don’t know whether he was joking or not. I should have hooked him up to a polygraph machine and quizzed him while he was eating.

I thought it tasted like the bastard creation of someone with too many breakfasts on their hands. Oops! I accidentally made a bunch of pancakes and a big pot of Spam-based sauce. How can I feed this to my guests without looking like a fool? Really, there is no way to serve this without getting some raised eyebrows.  It just can’t be done.

Ham-Pancake Shortcakes
Brunch will never be the same.

Ham-Pancake Shortcakes (Makes 4 servings)
1 can (12-oz) pork luncheon meat
1 package (10-oz) frozen cut green beans
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup water
1 envelope (1-1/2 oz) à la king sauce mix
2 cups milk
12 large pancakes
Spiced peaches (recipe follows)

Cut luncheon meat into ¼-inch-thick sticks about 2 inches long. Brown in a medium-size frying pan (no fat needed). Add beans, onion and water; heat to boiling; cover. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring once or just until beans are crisply tender. Prepare sauce mix with milk following label directions in top of double boiler over direct heat; stir in meat mixture. Keep hot over simmering water while making pancakes. Make pancakes, using your favorite mix and following label directions. For each serving, put three together with sauce between. Top with a spiced peach half.

Spiced Peaches (Makes 4 servings)
1 can (1 lb, 4 oz) cling peach halves
¼ cup honey
6 whole cloves

Ham-Pancake Shortcake Scan from Cookbook
Just in case there's anyone who doesn't believe that this is a real thing, allow me to present the the actual picture from the cookbook

Drain syrup from peaches into a small saucepan; place peaches in a medium-size bowl. Stir honey and cloves into syrup; heat to boiling; simmer 15 minutes; strain over peaches. Chill – the longer, the better – to season and blend flavors. When ready to serve, drain peaches; place in a shallow serving bowl; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.


This recipe is from the Family Circle Brunches and Lunches Cookbook, published by Rockville House Publishers in 1978.


By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

16 replies on “Morbid Curiosity Monday: Ham-Pancake Shortcakes”

I just watched an episode of Twin Peaks where Kyle MacLachlan orders pancakes and ham and says something like “There’s no better taste than when ham meets syrup”. I thought that’s what this was going to be like, and that sounded delicious.

I’m not sure what to make of the actual recipe. The peach part doesn’t seem bad, but the combination of everything just sounds repulsive.

I can see mixing fruit and ham (I mean, pineapple-ham pizza seems pretty popular), but there’s something about putting peaches in a la king sauce that just doesn’t seem wholesome.

Sometimes I thank goodness that there is no time travel because while I could do cool things like make a ton of money from knowing the future, there’d always be a chance I’d be served something like this for dinner.

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