Nigella Lawson - Pumpkin Pancakes with Sticky Maple Pecans 091204
Pumpkin Pancakes with Sticky Maple Pecans
The British chef offers heavenly recipes to warm up your holiday table
Nigella Lawson, "Nigella Christmas"
Makes approx. 30
Although these pancakes are perfect for a brunch with a party feel, to be honest, I feel they can be eaten at any time. Add a little ice cream or whipped cream and you have a pretty fantastic supper-party pudding, too.
What I like about them particularly is that without too much of an initial shopping expedition you can be sure you have the wherewithal to make these as and when: maple syrup and canned pumpkin puree are stashed in the store cupboard; buttermilk has a pretty long life in the refrigerator, or you could simple add a teaspoon of vinegar to ordinary milk and let it stand, souring, for five minutes or so before proceeding.
And these are special. Pumpkin pancakes are to ordinary breakfast pancakes as a comforter is to a blanket. The sweet pureed flesh blends with the sour tang of buttermilk to make a pancake that is fleshy and downy and supersoft. You could, of course, eat these any way you so wish, but topped with pecans that have been tossed in a hot pan with maple syrup and doused with more maple syrup, is the best way I can think of.
Its probably easiest to make these before people appear and just stash them, covered loosely with foil and interleaved with parchment paper, in a low oven (say 250F), for 45 minutes to an hour.
For the pumpkin pancakes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (see margin note below)
1 15-oz can pumpkin purée (or 2 cups homemade)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the sticky maple pecans
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for pouring over pancakes
Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk until frothy, then add the pumpkin puree and whisk again.
Beat in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking until you have a smooth batter. Or just put everything into the blender, together, and liquidize.
Heat a heavy-based skillet or flat griddle, and pour in the oil. Wipe away any excess with kitchen paper, taking care not to burn your fingers, so that the pen is very lightly oiled. Any more than that, the pancakes will burn.
Using a 1/4-cup measure, pour small amounts of batter into the pan or onto the hot griddle, gently coaxing them into 3-inch-diameter circles.
When bubbles form on the top of the pancakes, flip them over. (Youll have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet or griddle. I get 4-5 on my griddle comfortably at any one time.)
Cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then transfer them to a plate, and keep warm with a layer of aluminum foil over the pancakes.
This amount of batter does make a lot, but the pancakes are not very big, and will keep well under the foil until you have finished making all of them. And theyre so good for when youve got people staying that it seems a pity to make fewer (and you can always freeze any leftover pancakes).
Sticky maple pecans
Toast the pecans in a large, hot, dry frying pan.
When the pecans are warm and smelling nutty, spoon the maple syrup over, stir to coat them and keep sauteing them in the pan until they are stickily, glossily coated.
Take the pan off the heat, and as you serve the pancakes, sprinkle each plate with a few sticky pecans and pour some maple syrup over the top.