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  • Writer's pictureAmy Minichiello

Spiced Pumpkin Sourdough Pancakes

It was close to midday by the time I had wiped down the kitchen sink. Two loaves of freshly baked sourdough sat proudly on the bench as the crust crackled and cooled. Half a dozen frozen balls of cookie dough waited patiently in line next to the oven, which was next to my white baking dish that was full of grated granny smith apples and finely diced pieces of crystalised ginger, both had been stirred through melted butter, a touch of spice, some flour and a scattering of brown sugar - an old fashioned favourite, self-saucing pudding.

A chicken and sausage cassoulet slowly bubbled away in the oven, the rich red sauce thickening around the sides of the pan; the sausages - thick and plump, a gorgeous golden hue. I plucked a pumpkin pancake from the pile and covered its golden surface with a lick of butter. The cool, crisp late morning air was refreshing as it hit my cheeks as I stepped outside, I tightened the belt of my dressing gown around my waist and melted into the comforting lightly spiced flavour of the fluffy pancake.

The recipe for which came about after having seen Penny Todman post a recipe for her pumpkin pancakes over on her Instagram feed. I had also made The Clever Carrot's Fluffy sourdough pancakes a week or two before and so I combined the two which resulted in a rather happy experiment. It seemed that our dog, three chickens and one dirt-stained little boy wanted in on the fluffy pancake action too as it wasn't long before they were all huddled around my legs, eager for a taste! I handed one to Beau, took my last mouthful and stepped back inside to the warmth.

A quick check of the timer on the oven told me I had at least half an hour before lunch would be ready to take out. It was time for a shower!

If there has been one thing I have taken great pleasure in doing every Sunday since we went into lockdown it is this - these slow Sunday mornings when Ben is home, it is the planning of a special lunch. A dessert. Baking bread and generally just, being. Being at home, together. Being in the kitchen. Being well-fed. Being nourished. Being happy for the simple, for what we have and continue to create in this little home of ours. It is being grateful for the small, insignificant happenings and goings-on of daily life during a pandemic and it is enjoying piping hot, spiced pumpkin sourdough pancakes on a chilly late winters morning.


Spiced Pumpkin Sourdough Pancakes

Makes approx 10, depending on size

1 cup cooled mashed roasted butternut pumpkin

50g almond meal

50g buckwheat flour

50g plain flour

1 tbsp caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

120g sourdough starter

1 free-range egg

1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the pan

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sourdough starter with the egg and milk, add the almond meal, flour, buckwheat, sugar, salt, baking powder, bi-carb and cinnamon and then whisk to combine. Lastly, add the melted butter and once again whisk until its lovely and smooth. Cover and place in the fridge to rest overnight.

The next morning, whisk in the mashed pumpkin until smooth once again. Heat a large frypan over medium heat and add in a good knob of butter, swirl it around so that it coats the bottom. Drop about 2 tbsp worth of batter to make one pancake, I can fit three pancakes in mine at a time, but you just fit in as many as you can. As soon as the tops of the pancakes have little bubbles appearing all over them, its time to flip. They should be beautiful and golden. Continue to cook for another minute or so, or until golden on both sides. Remove and keep warm while you continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, fresh berries, vanilla-infused ricotta, honey or even ice cream if you so desire. They are also enjoyable as a mid-morning snack in the days following if you find that they are not all eaten on a Sunday morning...I have been looking forward to my morning tea these last couple of days as I smear mine with a good dollop of ricotta followed by a drizzle of honey, hot cacao by my side as we sit out on the back deck. And only when we have finished the very last crumbs are the chooks allowed out... those girls are fierce when it comes to food!


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