I’ve been on a pancake tear lately. I made pancakes on a Friday this week. The ability to pull together (and enjoy) a weekend breakfast on a weekday morning, should be some sort of relaxation barometer. Pancake breakfast enjoyed outside in the mid-March summer sunshine is evidently all I need to skip gleefully off to the office. I ask so little, really.
The impetus for these orange beauties came with a pint of leftover sweet potato puree from a kindergarten baking class I taught last week at the Mission Hill School in Roxbury. The class is planning to open a bakery, and I was invited in as a “consultant” to help with their research and development. A heavy responsibility no doubt, the class of 5 and 6 year olds peppered me with questions. Many were dismayed to learn that at Canto 6 we really didn’t make much in the way of birthday cakes or cupcakes, focusing instead on mysterious and strange baked items like croissants and brioche. Perhaps the best moment of the day came after the class learned I had sold the bakery a few years back. One small precocious hand shot up, cocked her head, looked me dead in the eyes, and asked: “So, were you just ready to move on?” Amazing.
Speaking of moving on, back to the pancakes. The recipe here is adapted from a recipe for pumpkin pancakes from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. Any leftover pureed squash or even unsweetened canned pumpkin would work perfectly here. Tender, lacy-caramelized, and with just a hint of warm spice, we ate these warmly poured with buttered honey instead of maple syrup. Butter and honey are one of those cinnamon and apple type combinations: ingredients that were clearly destined for one another. Poured over pancakes, bread pudding, or biscuits (a la Sweet Cheeks BBQ), it’s hard to go wrong here.
In other pancake related news, I tried this recipe from Not Without Salt last weekend (told you: pancake tear), leavened with yeast instead of baking powder and darkly fragrant with buckwheat. They require a bit more forethought (yeast), but the results are well worth the work.
Two Years Ago: Spiced Carrot Spread with Ginger & Sesame.
Makes about 18 pancakes and serves 4.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
Sift everything together in a lager bowl.
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2/3 cup pureed sweet potatoes
- Butter for the pan
Whisk together all wet ingredients in a medium bowl, then slowly add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
To Cook the Pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp butter and melt to coat. Using a ¼ cup measure, pour 3-4 pancakes in the skillet – as many as will fit comfortably. Cook 1-2 minutes or until bubbling, then flip, and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter, or cook just as many as you need. Batter keeps refrigerated up to 2 days. Serve hot with the warm buttered honey below.
Warm Buttered Honey
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp mild honey
- A good pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a small skillet or pot. Heat over medium heat until melted and combined. Serve warm.