A Day Off and Buckwheat Pear Pancakes

January 11, 2011

On my days off, I follow a strict regimen. First I roll out of bed at some juvenile, ungodly afternoon hour, and then I make pancakes. Then I eat the pancakes. Then life is good and I can go about my business.

It just doesn’t feel like a day off unless I make myself pancakes. They are, in fact, my favorite comfort food/indulgence/reward treat, which is why I put in the effort to research and make all different kinds. Maybe I’ll do a pancake post every Tuesday? Or just a breakfast post?

Anyways, this particular morning was dedicated to buckwheat flour, because I found some in my freezer, and, well, I lurve buckwheat. It’s different, to be sure, on account of it’s distinctive gray brown color and strong smell, and I can’t get enough of the bold flavor in sweet combinations. Luckily for me, I found a recipe not only using buckwheat flour, but also using pears. I had some extra canned pears in the pantry and wanted to use those before forgetting.

Although it’s freezing in my kitchen, and the Boston sky is a lovely shade of winter gray, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my day off!

Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes

(Adapted from Good to the Grain)

Yields 8 to 10 large pancakes (using a heaping serving spoon to portion the dough into the skillet)

Ingredients:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose, or whole grain pastry flour)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 ¼ cups milk (the recipes suggests whole milk, but I used 1%)

1 egg

2 medium pears, or four halves from a 15 oz can (containing, usually, six halves)

Method:

1. If using a cast iron skillet, start heating it up over medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when you sprinkle water over it and the water sizzles. If you aren’t using cast iron, you can preheat your skillet over medium heat a few minutes before dropping batter.

2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. If you sift the ingredients together, throw the grains left in the sifter back into the bowl with the ingredients.

3. Melt the butter, then whisk it with the milk and egg until completely combined.

4. Peel and grate the pears into the wet ingredients. If you are using canned pear halves, drain them and reserve the syrup, then cut them into very small pieces. You’re basically mincing the pears.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and fold together. Please be careful not to over mix, the batter will be thick!

6. Grease your skillet (either with butter or cooking spray), and start dropping batter!

7. Use your pancake skills until all the batter is gone. Wait until bubbles form on the top of the pancakes and the edges look dry, then flip the pancakes and cook until browned. Make sure to keep the heat consistent in the skillet, and to be patient!

8. Serve after removing from the skillet!

Pear Butter Syrup (if you are using canned pears)

Ingredients:

Reserved syrup from drained pears

1 tablespoon butter

A generous splash of whiskey, scotch, or bourbon

Method:

1. Place the reserved syrup into a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce the liquid until it appears to be halved in quantity. This will take a good amount of time, 15 minutes or so, so you can keep an eye on it while you make the pancakes.

2. When the liquid is sufficiently reduced, add the tablespoon of butter and keep heating until it melts, swirling the pan. Then add the splash of your chosen alcohol.

3. Keep it on the heat for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and serve over pancakes.

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