Let’s face it: The Great Pumpkin has arrived and left a trail of spice dust from latte to Little Debbie.
And I’m mostly okay with that. I like the way it tastes, and I love riding the wave of nostalgia that each sip or bite brings. It’s a warm current of memory that I look forward to feeling. My only complaint is the same one that I’ve aired in years past to all who would pretend to listen – too often the pumpkin spice comes without the pumpkin. And that makes me feel sad and incomplete; it’s like eating a handful of sprinkles without cake.
It’s the nostalgia, you see; because without the flesh of the big orange squash, pumpkin spice leaves my sense memories incomplete. Certainly, aroma can cast an alluring spell, but there’s a voluptuousness about pumpkin flesh that adds a decadently plump and toothsome pleasure to every morsel it imbues, and it’s that combination that takes me back to the warm and happy days of bonfires, caramel apples, ill-fitting masks, and the promise of holidays yet come.
In fact, I can’t even think about pumpkin without recalling my first experience of it in the wonderous form of pie. Perhaps you, too,
remember: imagine the feel of pumpkin pie as you close your lips about it – it’s firm but yielding and expresses a soft, nearly corpulent luxury when it meets the tongue.
Gosh, I’m feeling nostalgic already.
But aside from theses daydreams and romantic recollections, there are also some mighty fine practical reasons to keep the pumpkin with the spice.
While adding pumpkin to a recipe doesn’t automatically impart the indulgent texture of a good pie, adding it to some recipes is a no brainer if you’re looking for rich texture and additional appeal without negative consequence. Pumpkin, like applesauce, adds considerable moisture without adding additional fat. It also contributes fiber and good dose of beta carotene, thiamin, and Vitamin A.
There’s almost no downside – especially if you’re making pancakes. A good recipe will help you balance the density and moisture of the squash with sufficient leavening to create a plump, rich, but light bite that will soak up syrup and butter like a champ. In this recipe it’s the combination of buttermilk with baking soda, as well as a dash of baking powder that makes these beauties happily fluffy and light.
And if you haven’t had pumpkin pancakes yet, well, you’re in for a treat. Of course, there are all the appropriate spices and a little vanilla to make the flavor really nice, but Pumpkin seems particularly well suited for maple syrup. It, too, is wonderfully redolent reminder of the season. Put them together and you have a pumpkin spice moment that will satisfy the appetite of several senses all at once.
Flour Head Bakery’s Pumpkin Pancakes
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
2 TB sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 ½ cups Buttermilk
¾ cup pumpkin puree
3 TBL melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, melted butter, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together with a spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture is mostly mixed together into a thick batter. (a few lumps of dry ingredients are fine)
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and lightly butter the skillet. Scoop the batter by the spoonful into the skillet, allowing room to flip the pancakes. Flip the pancakes when they have a few holes on the edges, and cook on the other side. Flip pancakes over a few times to make sure they cook through and are a deep golden brown on both sides.
Serve the pancakes with butter and maple syrup as you cook them, or keep warm in a 200 -degree oven.