Pear and buckwheat pancakes
Use ripe fragrant pears for this healthy and delicious breakfast.
This past week, we spent some time in Mammoth with some good friends. We don’t get to the snow often, but I love the change of scenery. It felt refreshing to freeze for a couple days (but that’s not to say that I didn’t do my fair share of complaining while the sharp winds and snow hit my face, of course).
I’ve been snowboarding a good ten years or so, but I can’t really say that I go flying down the slopes like a seasoned pro. It has nothing to do with skill, mind you, I totally get the technique, but cautiousness is a personality trait I can’t seem to grow out of. I wish I had taken a big spill, just so I could see for myself that, yes, I’ll actually survive. This antecdote parellels to other news going on in life – a risk of sorts – but I am saving that for next week :)
For some reason, that news just doesn’t pair well with pancakes. Speaking of, these are excellent. I have browsed, and am now closely studying Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, as it is a stunning and inspiring cookbook. I only slightly altered these pancakes by adding some spices and swapping in buttermilk. The pear flavor here is pretty gentle, so make sure you use ripe and fragrant ones. I am an eggs-for-breakfast girl, but my cute barista has requested something on the sweeter side, and I’m not one to contest a whole grain pear pancake.
Pear and buckwheat pancakes
Makes 12 pancakes
Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking spice blend*
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 firm pears (I used Bosc and Comice)
1/2 cup honey
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
* I have a baking spice blend from Penzey’s that has some anise in it that I thought was great here – you could use a bit of cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon as an alternative. Boyce doesn’t mention any spice at all – so up to you.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk/milk, and butter until combined. If you don’t have buttermilk, all milk will be just fine.
Peel the pears, and grate them in the large holes of a box grater. Add the pears and their juices to the buttermilk mixture.
Gently add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir ’til just combined. It should be fairly thick – Boyce recommends letting it sit for a little while, or overnight in the fridge. If you let it rest, you will need to thin it out with milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Adjust to your pancake thickness preference.
Melt the honey and 2 ounces of butter together, and keep warm to pour over the pancakes later.
Heat a cast iron pan, or griddle over medium heat. Add batter in 1/4 cup mounds to the pan, once the tops start to bubble, check that the bottoms are golden brown and flip to the other side. Cook about 5 minutes total.
Wipe the pan between batches, and rub a little butter in between.
Serve the pancakes hot from the skillet, with a splash of honey butter on top.
Sara Morris blogs at Sprouted Kitchen.
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