Pumpkin Oat Pancakes
Eighty-eight black and white keys stare up at me. I sit in front of a piano I’ve been listening to since I could barely reach those keys. My hands rest at center C waiting. I wait as well, hoping for uninvited inspiration. My tired eyes glance at the ivory pegs my mother once tapped at to serenade my brother and I awake on most early sunday mornings. I let my mind wander. I push it to search for familiar songs.
I begin to finger nonsense as my attention fades into a nostalgic daydream. Slow mornings spent under the covers, lulled by my mother practicing and perfecting another song of hers – a delightful melody so upbeat and bouncy it could put a smile on any passing face. Eventually my brother and I would be coaxed out of bed but we’d never make it farther than the hall, where we hid as long as possible, unwilling to distract or disturb her. My father would chuckle at his two sons as he walked by on his way to the kitchen.
Soon a kaleidoscope of breakfast scents would make their way from the kitchen, past my mother and her piano, and into the hall where my brother and I perched. Our polite patience for my mother quickly flew out the window as our dash into the breakfast room became a shoving match and screaming contest.
Like clockwork my mother was plucked from her piano and brought back to her motherly duties, separating my brother and I at the table, ensuring we each received perfectly even portions.
I give up on the piano and make my way into the kitchen – pancakes sound like more fun anyways.
The robust flavor of pumpkin and the bold spices that accompany it have a wonderful ability to stand up to other hearty flavors. Here, the warm, earthy flavor or oat and whole wheat flours pair perfectly with the spiced pumpkin puree. Together the create a pancake that is only made more perfect by sweet maple syrup and a pad of slow melting creamy butter.
Pancakes: Like muffins, pancakes are incredibly simple to prepare and require minimal effort. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients separately, then add them together with a few turns of the spoon. As for cooking them, that’s quite simple too. If you’ve got griddle, set it to 375°F, otherwise heat a nonstick flat, edgeless pan over medium heat. Lightly butter it before each pancake and flip only after the batter begins to bubble around the edges and the center begins to puff up. Serve immediately and keep warm – only if you absolutely must – in a warm (but not hot ) oven.
- 3 ounces all purpose flour
- 2 ounces oat flour
- 1 ounce whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 ounces spiced pumpkin puree (recipe)
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- Maple syrup for topping
- Preheat a griddle to 375°F or place a nonstick flat pan over medium heat.
- Mix the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together. Set aside
- In another bowl mix the milk, pumpkin puree, butter and egg together until blended.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until a batter is formed.
- Lightly butter the griddle or pan.
- Spoon the batter in ⅓ cup sized dollops onto the hot griddle or pan. Take care not to overcrowd the pan as the pancakes will spread out a bit.
- Once the edges begin to bubble and the center puffs up, check to see if the pancake is golden brown on the bottom and sturdy enough to flip. If so, flip the pancake carefully and lightly. The first side should take 3 to 5 minutes to cook.
- Let the edges look cooked and the bottom is a golden brown as well. This side should take an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately.