Monday, September 28, 2009

Applesauce Oat Pancakes with Raisins

The Oat Blueberry Banana Pancakes have been a favorite in our house for quite a while now. I will freeze bananas that have gone past their prime if I'm not quite ready to make up a batch of pancakes or smoothie, so that I can whip them up whenever they're requested.

However, I wanted something more. One of Elspeth's favorite books is Rosemary Wells' Voyage to the Bunny Planet. Evan and I are big fans, as well. Our favorite story of the three is 'The Island Light', where the dad and Felix 'mix up an apple pancake batter/ Singing while the shutters clatter'. There is a photo on the title page of the story showing the apple pancakes and Elspeth has wanted to 'get them out' on several occasions. In looking around for an apple pancake batter, I came across either the Dutch Baby-type of pancake with apples, or a griddle pancake with grated apple in it. Neither of these quite fit my idea. I'm not convinced that the grated apple would cook to a nice texture in the time it takes to cook the rest of the pancake, and I wanted a griddlecake that would make good leftovers. I definitely wanted to use applesauce as opposed to apple pieces. I also just happen to have sauced up some organic Honeycrisp apple with a bit of cinnamon stick and no sugar.

Suddenly last night (while I was supposed to be meditating, but that's another story), it occurred to me that the oat banana blueberry recipe was a great starting point for an apple pancake batter. I had been thinking that a whole wheat or bran pancake would be nice with applesauce, so it wasn't a huge leap to a combination with oats, flax and almond meal. Another of Elspeth's favorite treats is raisins, so I thought they would make a good addition instead of blueberries.

The texture of these pancakes differs from the banana version, I'm guessing because of the pectin in the apples. I did let the batter sit for 5 minutes before cooking, and it became quite airy in that time. Next time, I might be tempted to add an extra quarter cup of milk to make it easier to drop them onto the griddle. Other than that, the adaptation was a success. They were light and had a definite apple flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. I think the pancakes would also be good with pear-clove sauce and dried tart cherries. You can eat them plain or with more apple- or pear- sauce on top.

I've now tripled the recipe, as I always make that amount and freeze any extras for quick school-morning breakfasts. In 2012, I used roasted puréed pumpkin instead of applesauce with cinnamon and ginger and the results were very good.

INGREDIENTS
3 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. ground almonds (almond meal)
3/4 c. ground flaxseed
3 TBSP brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger, if desired
1-1 1/2 c. raisins or dried tart cherries
1 TBSP baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt (as opposed to kosher or coarse salt)
3-3 1/2 c. milk
2 c. unsweetened applesauce or pear sauce or pumpkin purée or plum sauce
6 TBSP (78 g) melted coconut oil plus more for the griddle

DIRECTIONS
  1. Make a flour out of the rolled oat by grinding in a coffee grinder or other such device
  2. Combine oat flour, ground almonds, ground flaxseed, brown sugar, raisins or dried cherries, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl. (Adding the raisins to the dry ingredients will help keep them from sticking together in large clumps)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and applesauce or pear sauce
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until just moistened
  5. Add the melted coconut oil
  6. Let batter sit for 5 minutes and then add up to 1/4 c. more milk if the batter is too thick to drop onto the griddle/skillet easily
  7. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat
  8. Brush with coconut or other neutral oil and ladle the batter onto the skillet or griddle (no more than 1/2 c. per pancake, smaller if little tykes will be eating them; the second time I made these, I used a 1/8 c. measure). Make sure to spread the batter out well, even if it's very liquidy. I have great success using a portion scoop to get the batter onto the griddle and then I flatten slightly
  9. Cook for a few minutes on the first side. You can tell they're getting done in a similar way to traditional pancakes. You won't see bubbles forming, but the sides of the pancakes will start looking a little dry. If you're worried, lift up a corner to see if it's your desired brownness
  10. Flip the pancakes and cook for an additional few minutes. Remove to a warming plate or serve
  11. Brush the griddle or skillet with a bit more oil and continue with the next round
  12. If you want to freeze leftovers, freeze them on a baking tray first, then transfer them to a zipper-lock bag or other freezer container

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