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pumpkin pancakes

A year ago, we posted a recipe for a pumpkin pie brûlée with a gingersnap crust. It is perfectly spiced, and the crispy caramelized top rests on a bed of ultra creamy classic pumpkin pie filling. We make it for Thanksgiving every year, and it’s always a hit. Which raises an important question: how did we not think of turning it into pancakes until now? We love pumpkin pie and love pancakes, so of course we had to combine the two! After some crucial pancake testing, and with the consultation of our pumpkin-loving kitty, Sylvia, it was unanimous: we hit the pumpkin jackpot.

Put on your robe and slippers, start a pot of coffee, and let everyone know they have a special breakfast coming. Or keep it a surprise, and see how quickly they drift into the kitchen once the aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar starts to fill your home. This is everything you love about Fall combined into a pancake. With hints of ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, these perfectly fluffy pancakes are full of pumpkin flavor. We started by using the same spices from our pie recipe. And instead of adding milk, which is commonly used for making pancakes, we found that evaporated milk gives them a slightly sweeter flavor and richer texture. Your mornings will never be the same.

Pumpkin pancakes are particularly painless to prepare. This easy breakfast requires no chopping, and everything comes together quickly. You simply whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquids in another, then mix the two together and you’re ready to go! As soon as you pour the batter into the pan, you are moments away from pumpkin paradise. And feel free to dress them any way you like. We added butter and maple syrup to ours, but they will be delicious with just about anything. Perhaps a dollop of whipped cream would ease your mind while reading the daily news. Or a drizzle of chocolate would certainly start your day off with a smile. Whichever way you decide, just be sure to stack them sky high.

Pumpkin Pancakes
makes about 12 5-inch pancakes

1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (40g) brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups (355ml) evaporated milk
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (135g) pumpkin purée

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Whisk to combine and break up any brown sugar lumps, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients: milk, melted butter, eggs, and pumpkin purée, and whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and whisk just until smooth.

Preheat oven to 200ºF, and preheat a griddle or skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium-low heat. When hot (see note below), add 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When bubbles form on the surface and the edges begin to dry out, flip the pancake and cook on the other side for another minute or two, until golden brown. Place the pancake in the oven to stay warm, and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot, with butter and maple syrup, and enjoy!

notes:
— There is an easy test to see if your skillet is hot enough. Get your fingers wet with water, and flick some droplets onto the surface of the skillet. If the drops just sit there, it is not hot enough. If they immediately disappear, the skillet is too hot. If they sizzle and dance, you are ready to cook!
— You will likely need to adjust the stove as you cook the pancakes. If they are browning too quickly, turn the stove down. If they are too pale and taking too long, turn the stove up.
— You don’t need much, if any, oil to cook pancakes. We pour about 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a cast iron pan, then use a paper towel to wipe it over the surface of the pan, creating a very thin coating. For a crisper exterior, feel free to use more oil, or try butter for extra richness.