Thursday, October 9, 2008
Vegan MoFo #9: Peach & Walnut Pancakes, With Raisins!
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
We live in interesting times these days; between the economy, the state of the planet, and the stress of the upcoming presidential election, things can seem pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, even when things seem darkest, we still have pancakes! Pancakes are one of those things that renew one's faith in the inherent goodness of the human condition. Casting its beam of yumminess surprisingly far, a stack of sweet, syrupy pancakes has the power to change your entire outlook, for at least as long as it takes to eat breakfast. We usually only have them on the weekends, since there's never time for a cooked breakfast on schooldays, but in a way this is a good thing, because it keeps them feeling special. My approach to pancakes is similar to the one I take to muffins, to wit: once the basic formula is in place, I'll add pretty much anything to the batter and see what happens, with generally good results. In the summer, I love fresh berries; in the fall and winter, apples, pears and even pureed pumpkin are all nice.
This past Sunday, our Big Plan had been to go to the orchard and pick as many apples as we could cram into the trunk of the car, but alas, it was not to be: we woke up to a cold, gloomy sky that threatened rain when we wanted it fine. Experience has taught us that this type of disappointment is best addressed with a batch of pancakes and multiple slices of tempeh bacon; that being the case, I didn't hesitate to spring into action. We had some ripe peaches, which I decided to puree with the other liquid ingredients to achieve an overall peachiness in the batter, then added some raisins and chopped walnuts to provide texture. The finished product were some of the best pancakes I've ever made; try them and I promise you'll feel better about everything, even that whole Sarah Palin business. Just remember not to stint on the maple syrup: it's our best defense!
Peach & Walnut Pancakes, With Raisins
~ 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. each salt, cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
~ 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
~ 1/2 cup raisins
~ 4 cups ripe, chopped peaches (ripe pears would work, too)
~ 1 cup soy milk
~ 2 tbsp. canola oil
~ 2 tbsp. maple syrup
~ 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
~ Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
~ Combine all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl; add the raisins and walnuts last, tossing them in the flour mixture until coated.
~ In a blender or food processor, combine the peaches, soy milk, oil, syrup and ginger. Blend until liquified.
~ Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir thoroughly to make a smooth batter.
~ Lightly coat a skillet with oil or cooking spray, and place over medium heat.
~ Add the batter by large spoonfuls (I usually cook only one or two at a time, to keep them from running together) and cook about 4 minutes before flipping and cooking another minute or two. Bear in mind that you may have to sacrifice the first pancake as a propitiatory offering to the Pancake God; this is okay, especially if you have a dog and/or a cat, who will happily eat your misshapen, under/over-cooked prototype.
~ As the pancakes are cooked, transfer them to a cookie sheet in the oven to keep warm.
~ Continue until all the batter is used up; serve with Earth Balance, maple syrup, some sliced fruit and tempeh bacon for a breakfast that should carry you through to (at least!) lunchtime with a smile on your face.