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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