I have been sitting here with my hands poised in a weird action-pose over the keyboard for about 5 minutes now, trying to think of how I can convey to you the fabulousness of these pancakes. I am in a panicked, twitchy, flustered mess, with my eyes darting around the room, thinking to myself, ‘How? How can I explain the urgency with which everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and immediately rush to their pancake stations? They must go now! NOW!’.
Because YOU GUYS…these pancakes are alchemy. They will bring boys to your yard waaaay more effectively than any milkshake. They will send your power levels to super-sayan heights. They will grow hair on your chest/wax the hair off your legs, whichever you prefer. They are like eating a blanket; a comforting blanket of pumpkin and Christmas-scented delight. MAGICAL. And I’m telling you this, because I have all the zeal of convert. Honestly? I was not so sure on the pumpkin. I just wasn’t raised with pumpkin in my desserts. Here in Australia, it’s still really uncommon to see pumpkin or sweet potato desserts. But, as you know, I love me some USA baking, so I bit the bullet and dove into the pumpkin puree.
And I did not regret it! Even though I had to wash my hair like 50 times to get the smell of pumpkin out….hahaha just kidding. It was a metaphorical pool of pumpkin puree. Not a real one. I roasted up half a butternut squash to make my pumpkin puree. I would totally use canned, if I could get it, but it’s pretty elusive here (see above re: unpopularity of pumpkin desserts). So from there, I whipped up a simple buttermilk pancake batter, added the spices of Christmas, stirred through my shockingly orange puree, and dipped my finger in fo’ a taste. *shocked face* It’s goood.
One of my favourite sides – what am I saying? One of everyone‘s favourite sides is maple-roasted squash. And who would complain if you tossed a little rosemary in there? No-one, that’s who. You see where I’m going with this don’t you? Squash + Maple + Rosemary + Pancakes =BREAKFAST FOR THE WIN! The almost-lemony flavour of the rosemary is the perfect partner to the smoky maple syrup, both of which perfectly partner the sweet squashy depths in the pancakes. The puffy, aromatic, butter frazzled pancakes… oh baby.
The pumpkin really does something incredible for the texture of these babies. They are thick pancakes, but not spongy. They have frazzled edges, but they’re not crispy. The word that keep popping into my head is velvety. When you get a mouthful of the velvety soft pancakes, drenched with the rosemary maple syrup and scattered with a few crunchy pepitas – it’s heaven. And oh oh, they reheat SUPER well. The moisture in the pumpkin makes them the greatest make-ahead pancakes of all time. Whip them all up the night before, stash them on a tray in the fridge overnight, and then 10 or 20 minutes in a low oven the next morning and breakfast is served! Pancakes for everyone! Clever you, and they’re so delicious, and so unusual. And the World’s Greatest Host Award goes to….
Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe
Makes 15 – 20 coaster-sized pancakes.
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 – 2 cups milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
Butter, for cooking the pancakes
Pepitas and Rosemary Maple Syrup, to serve In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the pumpkin, eggs and 1 cup of milk. Beginning with small motions, whisk together the wet ingredients, working towards the outside of the bowl, slowly incorporating the dry ingredients, until smooth. The mixture should be the texture of very thick cream, so add a further 1/2 to 1 cup of milk to reach the correct consistency. To cook the pancakes, place a crepe pan, or frying pan over a low heat. Add a teaspoon or so of butter to the pan, and swirl it to coat. I like to use an ice-cream scoop to add even-sized dollops of batter to the pan. They take about 1 1/2 minutes on the first side, or until the edges look cooked and bubbles are forming on top. Once flipped, they should only need a further minute and then they’re done! Place onto a tray in a low oven, if serving straight away, and continue cooking the rest of the batter. If you’re serving them later, let them cool down immediately, and stash in the fridge, before reheating in a low oven for 10-20 minutes. Sprinkle with pepitas and serve with Rosemary Maple Syrup, recipe below.
Rosemary Maple Syrup
Makes 1 cup
250ml Maple Syrup
3-4 sprigs rosemary For the rosemary maple syrup, simply place t hemaple syrup into a small saucepan, and add the rosemary. Bring to the boil, then leave to cool and steep. Taste – if the rosemary flavour is too strong, adding more syrup will balance it out. If it is weak, then simply bring the syrup to the boil again to reduce and intensify.