Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin spice and fall

This weekend I searched for fall colors around Durham.  Unfortunately, I just didn't find much... the sugar maples haven't changed from green to bright orange and yellow yet.  At least not in my neighborhood.  Fall is, quite simply, my favorite season.  This is when I really miss not living in the Appalachian Mountains. Crisp, cold mornings.  A warm, soft scarf wound around my neck.  Leaving the bedroom window open at night and snuggling under the comforter.  Pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.  Yes, with whipped cream on top, please.  Hot cider.  Jeans, long sleeves and my clogs. 
And now the pumpkin pancakes I discovered at Elmo's Diner a couple of weeks ago.  The Ex-Ex was in the mood for meat after strolling around the Farmers' Market so we headed to Ninth Street to see how long the line was at Elmo's.  This place serves up great breakfast food all day.  I know they serve other stuff, but I only eat breakfast when we go there.  I can't help myself.  We didn't have to wait too long and, when you're not in a hurry, it's a great place to people watch, one of my favorite past times.  It was parents' weekend at Duke so there were a lot of moms and dads there with their college kids. 
The Ex-Ex did indeed order meat, bacon and sausage, to go with his eggs.  I caught a glimpse (and whiff) of pumpkin spice pancakes as they passed by me and knew exactly what I wanted.  They were delicious.  Oh-my-gosh good.  I did give the Ex-Ex one little taste.
No whipped cream for me, just butter and maple syrup. 
Ahhhh.  Good enough for me to think about them for a couple of weeks and then try making my own.  I went to my pal Google to search for a recipe that sounded about right and found one at Annie's Eats.  Thank you for helping make my day taste better, Annie!  The eaters really liked them, too.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
makes about 8 medium-sized pancakes

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (I used 1 c. all-purpose and 1/4 c. whole wheat)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
1 c. milk
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.  Stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combined.  The batter may still have a few lumps-- that's ok.)

Preheat the oven to 200F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup and / or whipped cream.

Bon appétit, fall and pumpkin spice!

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