It’s such a treat to have my Mom and Granny staying with us this week. We’ve cooked and baked, gone antiquing, window shopped, and sat around reminiscing. These times are precious, the moments that you’d like to capture and suspend in time.
I’ve always found the best conversations in life happen in the kitchen or around the table. When the television and phones are turned off and work is not beckoning, we can turn our attentions to each other to focus and be present. At the table, we can look each other in the eyes and listen, ask questions, tell stories, laugh. These are the moments we remember.
This past Sunday, I made brunch for Mom, Granny and me. With Randy Travis playing in the kitchen, we set the table with my great grandmother’s china, lit candles, squeezed oranges for orange juice and made a batch of hazelnut pumpkin pancakes served simply with maple syrup. It was a perfect way to spend Sunday morning.
These pancakes are everything you want pancakes to be—crispy on the outside and tender on inside, hearty from whole wheat and hazelnut flour, but not heavy. They have a subtle pumpkin flavor and a hit of warm spices. They’re not sweet—I leave that to the maple syrup.
Plus, they freeze beautifully. If you have any left over, just layer the cooled pancakes between layers of parchment paper and then seal in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. When you want pancakes, just warm them in a toaster or toaster oven. They’re really good. Elie likes that we always have pancakes in the freezer, because that means he can have pancakes during the week.
Whether you make these pancakes or your own favorite recipe, I hope you take the time to sit down and share a meal with the people you love in your life, to turn off all distractions and spend time making memories.
Hazelnut Pumpkin Pancakes
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup hazelnut flour (or almond flour, if you can’t find hazelnut flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 cup plain yogurt, full fat
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Butter, for cooking pancakes
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and egg.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Don’t overmix the batter, or the pancakes will be tough. The batter will be thick. It’s okay if there are a few lumps.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan and then drop the batter into the pan, ¼ cup for one pancake. When bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes, flip and cook on the other side, until the pancake is golden brown.
Move the cooked pancakes to a plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pancake batter.
Serve the pancakes hot, with butter and maple syrup.