It’s pumpkin time! With Halloween around the corner pumpkins are starting to pop up in every shop and market right now. I’m not that big on Halloween but I do like a nice orange pumpkin and all the things that can be made with it
And with American Thanksgiving not that far off – and Canadian Thanksgiving already gone by – the shops in London are also serving North American Expats by stocking cans of pumpkin puree for those Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies. This recipe requires pumpkin puree and the easiest way is to get such a can of 100% pumpkin puree. The classic Libby’s version is available at Waitrose for about £1.50, which is much cheaper than the health food shop version for about £4.
If you can’t find either (or don’t want to spend £4 on the health food shop version) I’d suggest to make the puree yourself. Pioneer Woman suggests in her blog that the easiest way to do that is to roast wedges of pumpkin in the oven until soft, cooling them down and then pureeing the soft flesh, see http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/
Whichever pumpkin puree you go with, these pancakes with homemade cinnamon syrup and bananas are amazing – one of the best brunches I’ve ever had! The pancakes themselves are great – fluffy and thick – but the syrup makes the whole dish, so do go through the effort of making the whole recipe. I promise you won’t regret it!
This recipe is slightly adapted from the one on this blog:
Start with the cinnamon syrup, for which you need:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsps flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
Sift the brown sugar (sifting helps getting ridd of the lumps as brown sugar easily crumbles up) into a heavy bottomed saucepan, along with all the other ingredients and stir them together. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let it boil for a few minutes, while stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
Now, for the pancakes you’ll need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (any plain tasting one will do)
Mix all the dry ingredients in one large bowl – that’s the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and pinch of salt.
In another bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar with a whisk. When it’s all combined pour this wet mix into the dry flour mix and whisk it under with the whisk (but don’t over-whisk the whole lot, it just needs to be incorporated).
Then heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan- the recipe suggested using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. My cup messaurements are in form of a big spoon, so this worked a treat. It’s a good way to ensure all pancakes come out in more or less the same size. If you’re using a generous ¼ cup of batter you will get 6 pancakes. I’d suggest using a little less than the full ¼ cup, which should result in 8 pancakes.
Brown on both sides and serve hot, with slices of banana and a generous amount of syrup. Mmmmmhhh!