Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Quince Buckwheat & Spelt Pancakes

©Anna Blanch

I should really start writing about something other than brunch and cake....but aren't they some of the best things in life?
Anyhow, as promised, here's the pancakes we made a couple of weeks ago when Anna was staying with me for the weekend (I'm sorry I was such a boring host!)
We made them with apples this time but they work better with quince, so if you can find some awesome, otherwise, a rather tart apple should work as well, we had Braeburn and they didn't quite work...
I originally got the recipe from Kim Boyce's 'Good to the Grain' which, if you're into whole grain baking is like food porn :)
Pancakes....the original recipe uses pears and if you ever tried to feed me pears you will know that I'd rather write a chapter than eat pears....but I had these amazingly fragrant quince sitting in my kitchen that I only bought because I love the smell so much (though...quince curry.....hmmm....) and because they remind me of my grandparents garden when I  was little (I had a quince tree there).....and somehow the quince ended up in my pancakes.
The way I like to have those pancakes made my mum shake her head but try it, and you'll understand why this is my favourite breakfast in the world!

Quince Buckwheat & Spelt Pancakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
11/4 cups soy milk
1 egg
1 large quince (though I'm guessing if you have your own tree you'll need two...) peeled just before you're ready to start

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. I know this might seem tedious but it's really worth the effort! Your pancakes, or any baking for that matter becomes a lot lighter and you don't have to worry about lumps as much.
In a large bowl, whisk the butter, soy milk and egg together and grate the quince into the mixture (quince discolour quite a lot if you grate them in advance, so I'd really only grate them when you need them).
Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Don't overbeat at this step otherwise your pancakes will go this weird rubbery texture....
Now you get to have fun!
Heat a pan over medium heat and rub it with butter (Kim Boyce points out that using lots of butter is what makes the edges go all crisp and buttery....which makes sense but until she pointed it out I never thought about it.....so go for the 'it's brunch....it doesn't count' attitude :) )
Go for about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.
Once you get those awesome bubbles at the top of the pancakes, flip them and keep cooking until the bottom is a lovely golden colour.

©Anna Blanch

So back to them being my favourite breakfast in the world.....
A while ago I felt like experimenting so I added some poached eggs, some steamed apples, some grated cheese, and some agave syrup......you know how some dishes just feel like a party in your mouth? Well this is like a slowdance with an incredibly cute guy.....the egg yolks just melt in with the creaminess of the cheese which contrasts the tartness of the apples just to be balanced by the mellow sweetness of the syrup......

Steamed Apples
You'll need 1 apple per person. I prefer tart, crispy apples for this.
Peel the apples, core them and cut them into quarters, then you slice each of the quarters into pound coin thick slices.
Here's where my laziness takes over....stick them into a microwaveable dish, cover and microwave them until they're tender but not falling apart. If you're just making enough for yourself that'll take 2 minutes, if you're going for 3 or 4 apples it'll probably take more like 5 minutes....just keep checking.

You know how to grate cheese....but I've tried it with different types of cheese and you get the nicest effect with a not to mild slightly nutty cheese. Fine, a mature cheddar from your supermarket might work as well....but go and make your local cheesemonger happy!

©Anna Blanch


  1. "party in your mouth" - pretty much the highest praise!

  2. We still have to try the wizz fizz as sprinkles on the next batch of red velvet cupcakes!!!! I'll let you know when I get back and then we can make the beetroot gnocchi and have cupcakes as a desert or something.....

  3. Re: flour, I have yet to try it, but a friend of mine recommended the Dove's Farm online shop. http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/

  4. Alex, I tend to use Dove's Farm flour, but thinking about it I've never tried their whole-wheat flour....when I moved to the UK i had some less than amazing experiences with whole-wheat flour (all non-stoneground though) and I've kinda stayed away from it since....hmm...what could I bake that would be especially nice with whole-wheat...oh the possibilities...

  5. Do you have any good recipes for whole grain spelt? (not spelt flour)

  6. Like the actual grain...say cooked in a salad or something?
    I know my mum used to do stuff like that back in the healthy nutritionist days.....I shall investigate :)


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