I had the wonderful opportunity to host a brunch for Steve's mother and sister last weekend. I knew that these ladies enjoy Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes so I set out to find some ideas online. There were two versions of this fall favorite that jumped out at me, each having something very unique to offer. The first recipe featured whole wheat flour and oat bran, and the idea of a healthier option was very appealing. The second recipe had more traditional ingredients like white flour and lots of butter, but also included roasted pears to serve on top. Since I had never made either version I decided to start with a trial run of the healthier version the weekend before.
This first version turned out well. They cooked up nicely without having to use any butter in the pan, cooking spray worked just fine. What a special treat without having to feel too much guilt!
Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes
(from Herbs for Health)
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup unbleached wheat flour
¼ cup oat bran
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Heaping ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
⅛ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
In a large bowl, combine flours, oat bran, pecans, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin puree and butter or margarine until smooth; add to flour mixture and stir until blended.
Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet, then pour a small amount of batter (about 1/4 cup) per pancake into skillet. (Once skillet is hot, reduce heat to medium-low.) Cook until small bubbles on the surface appear and flip each pancake when the bottom is lightly browned. Turn and cook the other side for about one-half the time as the first side, or until lightly browned.
Serve topped with warm honey, applesauce or fresh fruit. Makes about 20 pancakes.
So after trying the first version I decided that it would be worth giving the less healthy version a try for such a special occasion. Oh and how decadent these pancakes were! The roasted pears were amazing and I'd highly recommend them on top of either version. For an extra special touch you can whip up some cinnamon butter to top off the 'cakes. Just mash a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar into softened butter and refrigerate.
It's difficult to compare the two recipes side by side, because obviously the buttery sugary version is going to taste the best. Personally I could only really give in to something so decadent on a rare and special occasion, so in the meantime I'll stick to version #1. I also plan on experimenting with elements from both recipes to come up with a middle of the road version, to satisfy both needs of being healthy and supremely delicious.
Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes with Roasted Pears
(adapted from BnBFinder)
3 firm, ripe Bosc pears, halved lengthwise, cored and cut into wedges
4 Tbsp butter melted
4 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1-1/2 c all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt plus additional for pears
1-1/4 c buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2c chopped toasted pecans plus 1/4c toasted pecan halves
Preheat oven to 425- Toss pears on a cookie sheet with 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp sugar and season with salt to taste. Roast pears in middle of oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes. Keep pears warmed in turned-off oven while cooking pancakes.
Whisk flour, remaining 3 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt in medium bowl.
In another bowl whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and remaining 3 Tbsp. butter. Whisk pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chopped pecans.
Brush a large nonstick skillet with some additional butter to create a thin film. Spoon 1/4c of batter per pancake into skillet and cook until brown, about 2 minutes. Flip pancake and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Keep warm in oven while making remaining pancakes. Serve pancakes topped with pears, pecan halves and warm maple syrup.
What a fun afternoon of pancakes and mimosas with a couple of the loveliest ladies that I know! Even the kitties joined in on the fun for as long as they could handle us..