Sep 10, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes

I love pumpkin. I mean really love it. And one fabulous way to enjoy that nummy pumpkin flavor is in pancakes.

My early attempts at making pumpkin pancakes were, let's just say, way below stellar. Way below. It is no fun to bite into a pancake and to find runny undercooked pumpkin. That happened to me, or should I say it happened to my granddaughter, more than once, poor thing.

My son and his family were visiting several years ago one fall and I had the great idea of preparing pumpkin pancakes for everyone. I followed the recipe flawlessly, poured out the batter onto the hot griddle, waited until the edges bubbled, flipped them and served them out to Carrie. She was the lucky little girl who got the first pancake. Or should I say, not so lucky. Yes, she bit into the pancake and had a mouth full of runny pumpkin. I apologized profusely and made her another....not as bad as the first one but still not completely cooked. She said thank you but she didn't care for another. Who could blame her?

I went on to make pumpkin pancakes over the following weeks and seemed to have a mixed bag of results. Some were completely done and others not so much.

On another visit from Carrie's family a year or so later I tried again. I reassured her I would make sure the pancakes were done. She trusted my honest looking smile and went for it. But alas, I did it to her again! Do you know not another member of her family (six in all) bit into an undercooked pumpkin pancake that morning? Only Carrie. Some people have all the luck.

This morning my daughter Anna and I were working together making a batch of pumpkin pancakes. It is September after all. Although, I think I could eat pumpkin in just about any way, shape, or form 365 days a year .... Same with chocolate. Hmmm, that's an idea! Next time I'll add some chocolate chips to the batter. I love the combo of chocolate and pumpkin...two of my favorite flavors.

This was the first batch of pumpkin pancakes for Fall 2014, the first in a long line of batches coming. I used this recipe last year too and always with great results. Did you know you can use any pancake recipe and with a few minor tweaks turn it into pumpkin pancakes with success? Yes you can.

The original pancake recipe called for 1 1/4 cups of flour and 1 cup of milk. When I mixed up the dry ingredients I simply added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. In place of the full cup of milk I used only 3/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Depending on how thick the batter is you may have to add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it looks like a good consistency. That's it. I used pumpkin puree that I had cooked from a fresh pumpkin last fall and had frozen and thawed. Fresh pumpkin, frozen and thawed, has a thinner consistency than most canned varieties and I usually place it on paper towels first (for 10 minutes or so) to absorb some of the excess liquid. If you're using store bought canned pumpkin, which is thicker, you may need to add more milk.

I eventually found the secret though (after some trial and error) to making completely cooked pumpkin pancakes. Make sure the cooking temperature isn't too high. They need to cook at a lower temp for a longer time and if so they will turn out great.

We topped ours with homemade whipped cream, lightly sweetened, and sprinkled some pumpkin pie spice on top. They were delicious.

Just for the fun of it I thought I'd give Carrie a call, and this is what the conversation sounded like:

Me: Hi Carrie. It's Grandma. Anna and I just made breakfast and we thought about you while we were cooking! (short laugh!) Can you guess what we're having?

Carrie: Ah, pumpkin pancakes? (no laughter...I am pretty sure she wasn't smiling!)

Me: Yes we are! We always think about you when we make pumpkin pancakes! This time they turned out great!

Carrie: Yeah? My mom was going to make some a few days ago but I told her, no thanks.

Poor Carrie! I think I've scarred her for life. To think that she may say "No thanks" to pumpkin pancakes for the rest of her life (and whose fault is that???) makes me very sad indeed.


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