Pikelets, drop scones, flapjacks, dutch babies, crepes, dhosas, hot cakes, fritters: all kinds of pancakes. All cultures have them, therefore they must be an integral part of human sustenance.
Therefore it is totally normal for me to subsist only on food that can be fried in neat round servings (preferably with butter). Banana pancakes for breakfast, indian spiced fritters for lunch, corn cakes with bacon and grilled tomato for supper.
These are special occasion pancakes: Happy Pancake Day. Fluffy coconut pancakes each framing a juicy pear slice, liberally covered with a caramel sauce the colour of mahogany.
Flip ’em in the air or run them around your local church, whatever your Shrove Tuesday custom might be. Or make someone else breakfast and make their day.
Pear and coconut pikelets with burnt caramel sauce
(makes 6 hefty pancakes – inspired by delicious! magazine – basic pancake recipe from Green Lite Bites)
2 large pears, ripe but not squashy
1 banana, also ripe
1 egg, separated
5g (1tsp) baking powder
10g coconut + more for sprinkling
a little butter + brown sugar for cooking
Mash banana with egg yolk. Stir in milk, then flour, coconut and baking powder. It will be a thick mixture. Whip the egg white until very stiff, then fold into the mixture. (You can skip this step and mix the whole egg with banana at the beginning, but you get fluffier pancakes.)
Melt a little butter in a large frying pan, medium heat. Sprinkle over a pinch of brown sugar and let it dissolve. Slice the pears down the middle into 1/2cm slices. (I didn’t bother to peel or core them, they turned out fine.) Cook 3 pear slices in the frying pan for 2-3 minutes. When they are brown underneath, scoop a big spoonful of pancake batter onto each pear and smooth into a neat circle. Sprinkle more coconut on each.
Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce: melt sugar in a small saucepan. Do not stir, but swish the pan from side to side to let it cook evenly. It should go a beautiful dark brown. As soon as it starts to bubble, take it off the heat, throw in the butter and stand back. It will hiss and spit, eventually melt. Stir in the cream.
Don’t forget to flip your pancakes! Cook until golden on both sides and you can smell coconut.
Keep them warm in an oven on low heat and make some more. Serve pikelets drowned in caramel sauce.