It is actually a snowy Fall morning now. The forecast warned me, I didn’t want to believe it, but it sure is coming down out there. Anyway, when I woke up this morning it was rainy and the perfect morning for pancakes.
As soon as Fall comes round, I develop an insatiable appetite for all things pumpkin. My desire for pumpkiny, cinnamony, spiced things is a year-round obsession, but it is heightened in the Fall, the mother season. In the Fall of my sophomore year of college, I was tipped off to the existence of pumpkin pancakes. Crazy, I know, but that marvelous creation had never crossed my mind before. College was doing a Grade A job of expanding my horizons. I spent that Fall futilely in search of the fabled breakfast treat. I have had them since, and they are magical. Golden orange cinnamon burst in your mouth. Thank you, Original Pancake House of West Caldwell, NJ. However, I have always spoken of them, planning on making them, waiting for the perfect morning to do so. A morning with the right combination of laziness, wakefulness, and willingness to wash the dishes afterwards, all with a quintessential Autumnal feel. I have put it off, saving myself for a day I knew would come. It arrived today.
Having read many pumpkin pancake recipes in preparation for when this fated day would come, I new that it included an additional step that most regular pancakes do not: beating egg whites to fold into the batter. Doing so gives these special griddle cakes a light, fluffy, delicate texture. I was worried because I do not have an electric hand-mixer, nor do I have the arm power to whisk egg whites into stiff peaks by hand. Oh, I long for the day when I become the owner of a Kitchenaid standing electric mixer! Lucky for me, Michael bought himself a food processor last year (which is a great tool to have). I whipped the whites in there for a few minutes. While it did not form those ideal, meringue-y peaks, it got the job done. Splendid.
The only other tweak to the original recipe I made was not using a pre-fab “pumpkin pie spice.” When I make pumpkin pies and other pumpkin spice baked goods, I prefer to measure out my cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice etc. to my liking. Today I used 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Kept it simple to let the pumpkin be star.
Makes about 6 medium-sized pancakes.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon complimentary spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves. I used cinnamon and nutmeg only.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, I used the 2% we have currently.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, make it a generous 1/2 teaspoon.
1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a wooden spoon to stir until it just comes together.
4. In another separate bowl, beat the egg whites until thick and stiff. A food processor works nicely.
5. Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to over-mix.
6. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan (I used cast iron) over medium heat and grease with butter.
7. Using a 1/3 cup measure to ladle into the pan, cook each pancake until lightly browned on each side.
Now that it’s snowing it doesn’t quite seem Autumnal anymore. It’s October for crying out loud! I know retailers always start pushing Christmas this early each year, but you, Mother Nature?! Alas! I will, as I always do, hold fast to Fall.