Sunday, November 8, 2009

PotW: Brown butter pumpkin pancakes with bourbon cream

[last time's PotW: Bananas about pancakes!]

Nothing's quite as quintessentially autumn as pumpkin.  (Ironically, a winter squash? bizarre.)  Okay, maybe butternut squash, but really, I just lump those two in the same category.  This week, I had pumpkins! left over from Halloween--I was a wimp and didn't carve mine.  And then my mom came to visit and deposited two beautiful organic sugar pumpkins here as well.  So, with all the pumpkin madness, I had to give pumpkin pancakes another go.



Brown butter pumpkin pancakes
with bourbon mascarpone whipped cream

Actually, I made pumpkin pancakes a few weeks back right when thoughts of Halloween, fall, and cooling weather reminded me of the upcoming pumpkin season.  But these pumpkin pancakes this time around were quite different.  First of all, I made my own pumpkin puree.  I actually--surprisingly so--haven't done that before because it's just been so much more convenient in the past to just buy cans of pumpkin puree.  But since I had so many pumpkins on my hands this time around, I couldn't avoid it!  Second, pumpkin takes quite a back seat to the flavor of browned butter, spices, and bourbon in these pancakes.



Instead of tasting the pumpkin as a foregrounded ingredient, it sort of lurks in the background, really providing more of a texture than anything else.  And the texture of these pancakes were really their selling point!  The homemade pumpkin puree, along with the brown butter, gave these pancakes a sort of chewy-melt-in-your-mouth cake-iness that isn't usually all too present in most pancakes.  It also didn't hurt that Maria--my roommate, who did the frying-up of these cakes this time while I whipped the cream, made them nice and thick.  I definitely recommend following her example.  The bourbon in the cream lends a zing in the finishing touches--though, be careful not to go overboard with the alcohol like I did.  (oops! :-P)  Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or freshly ground nutmeg, and it's a perfect stack of pancakes and flavors for the cooling fall weather.

Read on for recipe and directions for making pumpkin puree and browned butter.


Pumpkin Puree

small sugar or pie pumpkins (the larger pumpkins don't taste good!, or use butternut squash)
oil (or butter--you'll want a oil with a higher smoke point, so avoid olive oil)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the pumpkins in half and remove the seeds and fibers.  Then cut the pumpkins into quarters.
3. Brush the exposed pumpkin flesh with a little bit of oil and place flesh-side down on a pan with sides (i.e., roasting pan or jelly roll pan).
4. Cover the top of the pumpkins with foil.
5. Bake in oven for 90 minutes to 2 hours, turning once in the middle, until a fork can easily slide into the pumpkin flesh.  Remove from oven and cool.
6. Scoop out the flesh from the pumpkin skins and discard the skins.
7. In a food processor, blend the pumpkin flesh until smooth.
8. Place the pureed pumpkin in a sieve, with several layers of cheesecloth underneath.  Drain in the refridgerator, covered, overnight for at least 8 hours.  Discard any liquid collected.
9. Store pumpkin puree in the refrigerator or freeze.

Note: I didn't have any cheesecloth so I used several pieces of untreated, all-natural paper towels instead.  They worked beautifully.


Brown butter
makes about 2 - 2 1/2 cups brown butter

Brown butter is such a great ingredient to have on hand to add an extra layer of flavor or depth to cookies, cakes, savory dishes, and--of course!--pancakes.  After making brown butter, I let it set in the refrigerator and then wrap it up in parchment paper or foil to use as I would regular butter.

2 1/2 cups unsalted butter

1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter.  Stir continuously to prevent burning.
2. Continue to let the butter cook until the solids at the bottom turn a deep amber brown color.
3. Remove from heat and let it re-solidify in the refrigerator.


Brown butter pumpkin pancakes
makes about 18-20 silver dollar pancakes

8 oz. buttermilk
1/3 cup fresh pumpkin puree, recipe above
2 eggs
1/2 stick brown butter, melted, recipe above
1 tspn vanilla
10 oz. flour
2 heaping Tbspn dark brown sugar

2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
1 tspn freshly grated nutmeg
2 tspn ground cinnamon

1. Combine buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, melted brown butter, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk thoroughly.
2. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
3. Oil lightly a medium hot skillet and cook the pancakes.

Bourbon mascarpone cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream (I like to use manufacturing cream, if you can find it.)
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
2 Tbpsn powdered sugar
1 tspn vanilla
2-4 Tbspn bourbon, depending on strength desired

1. By hand, or with a mixer, whip the cream and mascarpone cheese until soft peaks.  Do not overmix.
2. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and bourbon to taste.




Enjoy!


7 comments:

  1. If something like this is for breakfast. Then I don't think I will be able to work at all. Such delicious pancakes, I simply can't resist. That too with bourbon cream.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These sound perfect. I have some pumpkin in my fridge begging to be used. And what can't be improved by adding a touch of booze?

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  3. I looooooooooove pumpkin pancakes. I'll have to make these for my parents when I go home for Thanksgiving...just three weeks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Anshika: now you know why I always have to take the rest of Saturday off!

    @leannabowles: I concur! The liquor in my liquor cabinet is pretty much exclusively for baking/cooking.

    @Andrea: home! I hope we'll overlap in either LA or SF!

    @Amelia PS: indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Anshika: now you know why I always have to take the rest of Saturday off!

    @leannabowles: I concur! The liquor in my liquor cabinet is pretty much exclusively for baking/cooking.

    @Andrea: home! I hope we'll overlap in either LA or SF!

    @Amelia PS: indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If something like this is for breakfast. Then I don't think I will be able to work at all. Such delicious pancakes, I simply can't resist. That too with bourbon cream.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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