Day 6 of 31 days of pumpkin brings us to the perfect Halloween-morning breakfast: pumpkin pancakes. These are true pancakes from scratch, complete with whipped egg whites folded into the batter at the end for extra smooth, fluffy pancakes. This past summer, I used the same method when creating strawberry-coulis infused pancakes. What will we infuse into our pancakes this winter, I wonder?
The spices in this recipe include cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. I’m loving my microplane grater this month. I use it everyday to grate the nutmeg in each of these recipes. Other spices you could swap in are ginger, mace, and allspice. Just keep the quantities low. A little of these goes a long way.
I purchased the Halloween pancakes molds at Williams-Sonoma this week. I used to have an older set, but I gave it to a friend last year. I also have the Christmas set as well as a “Things that Go” set that my son adores. I have to say, Williams-Sonoma must have made significant design improvements recently because these new molds are easier to use than any of the other sets I have. In the past, I’ve cursed these molds because despite all my best efforts, the batter inevitably stuck to the mold and the whole thing fell apart when I tried to get it out.
Strategies for getting a perfectly shaped pancake include:
1) Spray the molds generously with non-stick spray
2) Heat both the pan and the mold thoroughly before adding batter
3) Don’t overfill the mold
4) Pick up the molds gingerly when ready to flip
These new molds are great. They really don’t stick to the batter at all the way they used to. Now, the mold lifts right off without bringing any of the pancake with it. It looks like William-Sonoma re-engineered the nonstick surface. Also, the shapes are slightly different. There aren’t as many nooks and crannies as the older ones, so that may also help with easy removal. I’m just happy not to be spewing curse words in the kitchen anymore while preparing this special breakfast for my angelic children waiting patiently nearby.
Serves 2 people (makes 6 shapes)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 large eggs, separated
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat griddle on medium heat. (Don’t add any fat to the griddle yet. Just let it sit there heating up).
2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin and egg yolks. Melt the butter in a small ramekin in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Mix the vanilla in with the eggs to help cool it down a little. You may have to wait a minute or two. You don’t want to cook the eggs. Add the butter/vanilla mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix thoroughly. The batter will be thick. You’re going to add the egg whites next. Using an electric handheld mixer, or a crank one like that pictured here, beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not too dry. Fold them into the batter gently.
4. Using a ladle (to control the amount of batter you use each time), pour batter into the mold, moving your hand around as you do so to spread the batter around all the little areas. Only fill the mold up about halfway. It will rise during cooking. Once the edges become firm, you are ready to gently lift the mold out of the pan. Check for places where the batter could be sticking to the mold and gently push it away with a butter knife. Once you’ve removed the mold, you can flip the pancake like normal. Let cook for another 2 minutes or so.
5. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.