Friday, October 3, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Maple Butter

I think pumpkin is a vegetable (technically it is a fruit) that people either love or hate. I happen to love it. When the leaves begin to change color and autumn is on the way I crave pumpkin in both sweet and savory forms. Perhaps subconsciously I desire it for its nutritional value, although I'm not sure how far that goes once you add sugar and butter. But everything in moderation, right? That is the key as my mother always says.

As I mentioned in my Sautéed Apple Cake post I have been baking with white whole wheat flour a lot lately. So I used it in the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, but regular all-purpose flour is fine. I think spices really enhance pumpkin's flavor, so I added cinnamon and a good pinch of ground nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Feel free to use any warm spices you desire or omit them if you prefer. 

Folding in a whipped egg white lightens the batter and keeps the pancakes tall and fluffy. The recipe can easily be doubled. (Left-over pancakes can be gently warmed in the oven or microwave.) Serve the spicy pancakes with a generous dollop of maple butter, additional maple syrup, and Applewood-smoked bacon. What could be a better autumn breakfast?

Note: all milk or all buttermilk can be substituted if you don't have one or the other.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Maple Butter
makes approximately 20 - 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) pancakes

1 cup (140 g) white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons (45 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a generous pinch each of ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 g) canned pumpkin purée
1 egg
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces/45 g) salted or unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white
additional butter to fry the pancakes

For the pancakes - In a bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt to combine. In another bowl stir together the pumpkin purée, the egg, melted butter, buttermilk, milk, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and stir gently just until combined. 

Beat the egg white with a whisk or hand mixer until it holds a soft peak. (If the pancake batter seems too stiff add a little more milk or buttermilk before adding the beaten egg white.) Carefully fold the egg white into the pancake mixture to lighten the batter. Be careful not to over-mix.

Melt a generous amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drop large spoonfuls of pancake batter into the hot pan and allow to brown before turning over. Cook on each side about 2-3 minutes until the pancakes are cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter adding more butter with each batch. Keep finished pancakes in a warm oven until ready to serve.

To serve - top pancakes with a dollop of maple butter. Serve with additional maple syrup.

Maple Butter

4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60 g) salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
additional maple syrup to serve with the pancakes

For the maple butter - Put the butter in a bowl and whip lightly with a fork or whisk. Add the maple syrup and continue to stir to incorporate.

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