Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poppy Seed Pancakes and Spiced Oranges.


poppyseed pancake
speckled sand dollar tower
slump of spiced whipped cream


the famous lardon
fat, smoke and salt to render
crisp ruffled edges


light up my kitchen
tiny sun discs of citrus
no shade on the plate

And now, so you can actually get to the eating.


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown or granulated sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 egg
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (either works well)
1/3 cup milk
zest from one lemon
pinch of salt 

Spiced Orange Segments

2 large oranges
1 cup brown sugar
pinch of black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Begin by preparing the spice-infused orange segments.
Slice both ends off the orange and remove the remaining rind with a knife.  Place the orange down on one of the sliced ends.  Keeping your knife relatively vertical, smoothly cut off the rind making sure to remove as much of the white pith as possible.  Once you have a skin-free orange, turn it on its side and cut 1/2 inch thick slices.  Repeat with the remaining orange.  Arrange the slices on a plate or place into a medium bowl.  

To create the spice mixture, simply combine the brown sugar with the spices.  Sprinkle the mixture over the orange segments and allow to stand while preparing the pancake batter.  I mixed the oranges and the spiced brown sugar in a bowl.  This allows the oranges to wallow and marinate in their natural juices a little better than if they were lying flat on a plate.

Now on with the cakes...

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Add the brown sugar and the poppy seeds and stir to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, sour cream (or yogurt) and milk.  Once thoroughly combined, add the flour mixture and stir until smooth.  Do not over mix the batter as overworked batter can yield tough, chewy pancakes.  We want light, cake-like pancakes here folks!

Heat your best pancake-making pan over medium heat and drop a little butter in to help everything along.  Reduce the heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of batter for each pancake.  Once the pancakes begin to bubble slightly, or a quick check reveals a golden color on the bottom, flip the pancakes over and cook for one more minute or two.  Cook the pancakes in batches until all the batter is used and keep any excess pancakes in a 200 degree oven until ready to eat.

These pancakes are heavenly just on their own, with a classic drizzle of maple syrup, or, with a few dollops of home-made whipped cream and couple segments of spiced oranges!  Don't forget the bacon!


Adapted from Pancakes and Waffles by Kate Habershon.

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