Poppy Seed Pancakes with “Saucy Oranges”

I just can’t get enough of pancakes, it seems.

After about four months of blogging, this is already the fourth time that I am telling you about another pancake recipe. I guess, it’s not that surprising as pancakes make such a satisfying brunch – they are yummy and quick and easy to make! Another reason why I have one more pancake recipe here for you is that I it was time to tidy my spice cupboard and in the back, behind all the little glasses and boxes of all sorts of spices I found a small bag of left over poppy seeds (not sure how they had moved from the baking cupboard to the spice section…). This meant that I had to look for recipes that would use up these few black poppy seeds and of course I opted for a pancake recipe!

I found it on 101 Cookbooks and have slightly amended it, omitting the sunflower seeds. The author suggested a citrus syrup with it and I liked the idea of this combination but opted for an orange sauce I had made in the past, also because I didn’t have agave or maple syrup in the house.”Orange sauce” makes me think of the colour more than the fruit… so that’s why I shall be calling it “saucy oranges” from now on The “saucy oranges” are also easy to make, as long as you mix the cornflour with a bit of the warm water first, before adding it to the hot sauce on the stove – otherwise the sauce may go lumpy.

As for filleting the orange, I used to think it requires the knowledge of some chef trick and was worried about creating a big mess trying to get out some clean orange segments. From a cookery class at Leith’s cookery school I then learned that it isn’t very hard, as long as you have a very sharp knife. You have to cut off one end of the orange to create a flat surface, before you can start cutting away at the orange so the orange doesn’t move about. And don’t be shy to be quite generous when cutting away the peel to make sure the orange segments are clean of all pith.

Pancake recipe based on 101 Cookcooks.
For about 4 portions you will need…

Starting with the “saucy oranges”:

  • 7 oranges
  • 25g caster sugar (about 2 tbsp worth)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2tsp cornflour

Take 5 of the oranges and cut off the bottoms so they sit on a flat surface. Using a very sharp knife cut away the peel & pith, following the round shape of the orange with your knife. Then cut out the segments. Try and collect any juice that might collect on the board as you go along. Leave orange segments and juice to the side.

Cut the rind of the other 2 oranges with an orange peeler that gives you small matchstick strips, then squeeze the juice from these oranges into a small pan and add the rind. Add the sugar and lemon juice and simmer gently for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the rind is tender.

Blend the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water in a small cup, then mix in a little hot juice. Add to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute until the sauce has thickened. Take off the heat and add more orange juice if you like.

Add the juice and segments to the sauce, cover and chill.

For the poppy seed pancakes (recipe based on http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/poppy-seed-pancakes-recipe.html):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
  • 2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps butter, melted (plus extra for the pan)

Combine all the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, salt and poppy seeds in one bowl. In another small bowl or jug, combine the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients in the dry mix until just combined (I found the batter to be quite thick).

Heat the pan to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. As a test for the right temperature 101 Cooks suggests: “If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark.”

Bake the pancakes, each of about 1/3 of a cup, and wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in colour, then flip and cook the other side until golden and cooked through.

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