As a continuation of my manic obsession with taking home as little food as possible from school, I chose a can of pumpkin, the tail end of a box of crystallized ginger, and the last quarter of a bag of whole wheat flour as my victims for yesterday’s brunch. I woke up early (10:00 am…) and had a morning yoga session outside. My body hasn’t been physically challenged in a couple of months, so it was a little surprised with some of the stretches and strength exercises. I didn’t eat before it because I didn’t want a stomach full of food getting in the way of my warrior pose, but by the end, I was quickly approaching a ravenous state. Pancakes to the rescue.
Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from this recipe)
Yields 15 4-inch pancakes
The batter of these pancakes ended up thicker than most other pancake batters I have encountered so they took a little bit longer to cook, but the end result was pillowy and fluffy. I think the secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, which interacts with the baking powder and baking soda (and maybe the milk) in a magical way. I ate them with a smothering of apple butter, butter butter, chopped walnuts, and maple syrup that I had simmered with some chopped crystallized ginger. If you like ginger but not too much, you can boil the syrup with ginger and then strain it out. As I was eating these pancakes in all of their sweetness, I started thinking about how good the same pumpkin pancake recipe would be with garam masala, or even garlic powder, instead of pumpkin pie spice, no sugar, and twice the salt. It would be a really interesting, last-minute alternative to naan.
1 3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Slowly whisk into the pumpkin mixture until the two are just combined.
Heat a lightly buttered frying pan over medium high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan for each pancake. Brown on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes, and serve hot.