Piñon Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup
Published by Harvard Common Press
The Pueblo people of New Mexico taught Spanish settlers to love the piñones, or pine nuts, of the area. Among other uses, the Pueblos ground the rich nuggets into a meal or flour, a technique we borrow here. We prefer to make the pancakes with blue cornmeal, also originally from the same people, because it adds another element of nutty flavor.
Serves4 to 6
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Equipmentfood processor, griddle
Taste and Texturenutty, rich, savory, sweet
Type of Dishpancakes
- 2 cups apple cider, preferably unfiltered
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 canela stick, or other cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1¼ cups piñon (pine nuts)
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal, preferably blue
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 drops almond extract
- Vegetable oil for pan-frying
Toasted piñon (pine nuts), for garnish (optional)
In a heavy saucepan combine the cider, com syrup, and canela. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and continue boiling until reduced by about one-fourth. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Keep the syrup warm or reheat it before serving.
In a food processor, process ¾ cup of the nuts briefly until ground. Avoid processing them so long that they turn to butter. Add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt and process just until a coarse meal forms. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the eggs, milk, butter, almond extract, and remaining nuts. Chill the batter, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat a griddle or heavy skillet. Pour a thin film of oil into the skillet. Fry the pancakes a few at a time, about 1 minute per side, adding more oil as needed to keep the pancakes cooking evenly.
Serve the pancakes, garnished with more pine nuts if you wish, accompanied with the warm syrup.
1995 Cheryl Alters Jamison