Sunday 2 March 2014

Lemon & Poppy Seed Pancakes with Hot Stewed Plums

It’s pancake day, or to give it its proper name, Shrove Tuesday this coming Tuesday. This is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, when people are meant to use up their eggs, milk and sugar before refraining from them for Lent. Giving up the foods is not something many people adhere to nowadays, but the act of making and eating pancakes is a much loved and followed tradition, certainly in my house.

Growing up we always had the thin crepe style pancakes, served with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkling of caster sugar. I still love these, but decided to experiment with a thicker style pancake this year. I wanted to stick with the lemon theme, so added lemon zest to the batter rather than squeezing it over at the end. To accompany the lemon I decided to add some poppy seeds. Lemon and poppy seed is a classic combination and I liked the slightly crunch and appearance they added to the pancakes.

The pancakes were thicker than crepes, but not quite as thick or fluffy as the American style pancakes. I ate these for lunch so rather than dousing them in syrup I served them with some hot stewed plums, which kept them less sweet and more suitable for lunch.

I loved the deep glossy red colour the plums turned after stewing. Their freshness and natural juice added a lovely fruity syrupy flavour. I added a little yellow cornmeal to the batter to help give them a bit of texture and also lend a subtle yellow colour to the pancakes. Cornmeal can something makes things a bit dry, but the fruity juices from the plums soaked into the pancakes and helped keep them soft and moist.

The lemon flavour really came through and worked wonderfully with the fruity plums. The poppy seeds added a slight crunch but they were more for appearance than flavour. Overall a very tasty lunch and a nice change to the usual crepe style lemon and sugar pancakes, although I’m not saying I won’t enjoy a few of those on Tuesday too!

Pancakes, how do you enjoy yours?

Lemon & Poppy Seed Pancakes with Hot Stewed Plums
100g gluten free plain flour
25g yellow fine ground cornmeal
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
3 tsp poppy seeds
4 tsp caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
70-80ml milk
Oil for frying

6 ripe plums
1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
1 tbsp water
½ tsp vanilla extract

Half the plums and remove the stones. Slice into segments and place into a pan along with the water.
Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the plums are softened and have released their red glossy juices. Taste and add a little sugar if they are too tart for your liking.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside while you make the pancakes.

Heat the oven to 50C and place 2 plates into the oven to warm.
Add all the pancake ingredients expect the egg, milk and oil into a bowl and mix together. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Mix gently until the mixture starts to form a batter. Add the milk gradually until you have a smooth, thick, pourable batter.
Brush a pan with a little oil and heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the pancake batter, letting the mix spread and find its own shape.
Leave to cook for 15-20 seconds before flipping over and leaving to cook for a further 15 seconds until lightly golden.
Remove the pancake from the pan and transfer to the plates in the oven to keep warm.
Repeat with the remaining batter. You should get 8-10 small pancakes from the mix.
Divide the pancakes between the two plates. Top with the warm stewed plums and serve.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream or Greek yoghurt if desired.
Makes 8-10 small pancakes, serves 2


Beth (jamandcream) said...

I like the slightly thicker pancakes too. These look fab

The Caked Crusader said...

Love your puffy pancakes - much nicer than the thin ones

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Your recipe and post gives to show how brilliantly versatile pancakes are - such a lovely flavour combination

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

Lovely lunch! I would never have thought of putting zest in the pancake batter, but it sounds delightful. I will definitely be trying that idea.....

Johanna GGG said...

these look delicious - I made plum jam yesterday and was thinking I need to stew some plums - now I know why :-) hope you have a good shrove tuesday