Makes about 25 mini pancakes
It’s happened again. My once cooperative-at-meal-times baby has departed and been replaced with a baby who doesn’t care for ‘baby food’ and I am left with a freezer full of mashed and puréed meals. Control is the word and he will only eat what he puts in his mouth. So today, I offered him his first taste of my heaven pancakes.
These little beauties get made a lot here. They’re (relatively) easy, delicious and pretty good for you to boot, what’s not to love? I started making them one day when Harry was a baby and had decided he just wasn’t into puréed food anymore, and I didn’t want to waste all that hard work in my freezer. I was particularly attached to a batch of stewed apple, pear, apricot and vanilla bean (recipe from Annabel Karmel). Seriously, if heaven has a smell, this is it. So I played around with a little with some flour, eggs et cetera and here we have it…
(Later I would discover Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious series, taking this approach to a new level. If you’re struggling with meals, I highly recommend books like this as a way of getting you out of your rut – although I should note that I replace a number of the ingredients, e.g. We use butter and/or coconut oil, not spread substitutes.)
First of all I make up a big batch of fruit purée, then freeze it in 250g (or 125g) batches so that when I want to make the pancakes, there’s not a lot of work involved (they wouldn’t get made otherwise!)
Purée (adapted from Annabel Karmel)
3 large apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
3 large pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
250g dried apricots, finely chopped
3 tsps vanilla bean paste
5 tbs water
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, over a low heat. Bring to a simmer, then cover for 5 minutes or so (until soft, you’ll know it’s ready when a knife can slice easily through the apple.) Cool a little then purée. Freeze in either 125g or 250g portions. If Ivan’s not around, I’ll generally only make up half a pancake mix.
Ready for breakfast? Alrighty then.
250g stewed fruit purée
1 cup SR white flour*
1 cup SR wholemeal flour
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tsps white vinegar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbs sugar**
Pinch of salt
2 – 3 tbs melted butter***
Extra butter/oil for frying
Start by adding the vinegar and milk together and let it sit while you gather everything else (you could substitute these two ingredients for the same amount of buttermilk, but I generally don’t keep buttermilk on hand).
Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl, and egg, fruit and butter in another. Combine then add milk mixture. I use a spoon for all of this so as to keep as much air as possible in the mix.
Let it stand for a few minutes while you gather your pan, plates, cutlery and so on together. I find this little bit of time adds to the fluffiness.
Heat your pan over a medium heat and add your butter/oil.
I add large dessert spoonfuls to the pan for the kids, and bigger ones for Ivan and me. It’ll take a couple of minutes for them to brown a little on the first side (look for bubbles rising), then about half a minute on the other after you flip it.
Serve with a little yoghurt, berries and maple syrup.
*I use a combination of white and wholemeal flours as I’ve found straight wholemeal gives you a pretty dense pancake, which isn’t what I’m going for.
** Not necessary, but I like the extra sweetness.
*** You could substitute a vegetable or nut oil instead. If you don’t want to add this, you’ll end up using more oil/butter in the pan instead, so it’s up to you.