Three years ago I had never heard of pumpkin pancakes. Slowly, though, they’ve been trickling into my world. First it was a friend at college who made them for Laura’s annual pancake birthday breakfast (two breakfasts were enough to declare it an annual event, right?). Next it was discovering the pumpkin pancake mix and pumpkin butter at Trader Joe’s—apparently pumpkin pancakes were popular enough to warrant their own ready-made mix at everybody’s favorite grocery store. And now my Facebook News Feed is enlightening me (as it does in areas of national weather, sports and season finales) on the public opinion towards pumpkin pancakes: they can’t get enough of them.
Last Saturday morning I made Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes using the leftover pumpkin puree from my recent pumpkin exploits. While these pancakes aren’t nearly as simple to make as the TJ’s pumpkin pancakes, the extra effort returns tenfold in flavor and texture. If you think of these pancakes as a seasonal treat, you won’t mind pulling out your electric mixer to whip the egg whites. And whipping the egg whites is worth it: you won’t get a pancake this tender, fluffy or light any other way.
Note: The original recipe calls for all white flour, but I substituted some of the white flour with whole wheat flour, as indicated in the recipe below. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use a mixture of the fall-flavored spices you do have, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom or allspice.
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached white flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom or allspice)
¾ teaspoon salt
1? cups whole milk
¾ cup canned pure pumpkin (or homemade puree!)
4 large eggs, separated
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter for cooking the pancakes
Pumpkin butter or maple syrup to serve with pancakes
Make the Pancakes
Whisk first 6 ingredients (whole wheat flour through salt) in a large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions.
Heat large skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 teaspoons of butter in the pan and swirl to grease entire surface. Working in batches, pour batter by ? cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1½ minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter between batches. Serve with pumpkin butter or maple syrup.
Recipe from The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook (p 496).