Sunday, November 13, 2011

buckwheat pancakes with spiced apple plum compote

There are those who like to buck the status quo and do things like eat breakfast for dinner. There's nothing new or special about that - especially if you're young enough to remember your days as a 20-something in university. Or your 2 AM runs to the grosser-than-gross Fresgo Inn on Davie street in Vancouver for a breakfast so huge you can split it in half and call it a decent meal. Breakfast for dinner is a concept that is solidly entrenched in Gen X culture.

The Fresgo Inn on Davie is long gone (though apparently still operating in Whalley - who knew?) and I don't think I've had breakfast for dinner in years. However, today I double-bucked the status quo: I ate breakfast for lunch. 

Now, don't you go thinking that I slept in. No no. I got up reasonably early, ate a bagel for breakfast, went out in the cold, blustery weather to shoot an assignment, then came home and made pancakes at 2 in the afternoon. Buckwheat pancakes. With a spiced apple and plum compote.

Buckwheat pancakes are miraculous. The buckwheat imparts an earthy flavour that's lost when diluted with too much all-purpose flour. The pancakes themselves were sturdy, but not heavy like cake. The addition of buttermilk helped to keep things reasonably light. The sugar in the compote was restrained and allowed the flavours to really shine - I was also able to put my usual amount of real maple syrup (nature's candy!) over the whole thing. The compote was a perfect compliment to these pancakes. I feel like the combination of fruit and spices wouldn't have gone so well with a standard white flour pancake, but it played off the nuttiness of the buckwheat to create a rustic pancake meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) that can't be beat!

buckwheat pancakes with spiced apple plum compote

buckwheat pancakes
adapted from Herbivoracious

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten

spiced apple plum compote

2 medium sized plums, pitted and cut into slices
1 medium sized apple, peeled, cored and cut into slices
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water

to serve
unsweetened whipped cream
real maple syrup
  • Pancakes: In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, melted butter and eggs.
  • In a second bowl, combine buckwheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Do not overdo your mixing - it's okay if the batter is a little bit lumpy. It'll all sort itself out in the end. This is a thickish batter, but if you need to, you can add a little bit of buttermilk. Just keep it thick.
  • Turn your oven on to 200ºF and put a plate in - this is to keep your finished pancakes warm during the cooking process. Cook the pancakes in a pan with butter as you would normally cook them.
  • Compote: Put your plums and apples in a small pot and turn it onto medium-low heat. In a small bowl, combine your sugar, water and cinnamon, then toss it in the pot. Cook with the lid on, but give the fruit a toss regularly. When the plums are soft, you'll know it's done. 
  • Serve over pancakes with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a generous drizzle of real maple syrup.

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