Amaranth seed, a so called ‘pseudo-cereal’ that is anything but phony. A super pumped source of protein, a great gluten free alternative and a top notch flavour profile are all factors that make this super seed a super wholesome addition to so many baked goods both sweet and savoury.
This pancake recipe first appreard many moons ago on version 1.0 of the Noisette Bakehouse blog, back at a time when pancake breakfasts were a more leisurely affair. More often than not I now rustle up a super quick and forgiving one person pancake recipe that fits in with busy mornings or last minute weekend brunches. However when Pancake Day rolls around and you fancy making an effort then this is a great recipe to have in your repetoire. It’s akin to putting on your favourite dress, brushing your hair, gracing your face with a slick of lipstick and taking the time to recognise that you’re not so bad after all.
Amaranth seed lends a wonderful earthy quality to these pancakes, with notes of beetroot and corn and all that is good from the soil. They have an underlying toasty flavour, much like fresh popped corn so it follows that they benefit from being covered with salted vanilla butter, a simple compound butter thats a cinch to make*. The unsulphured dried apricots, unlike the bright orange kind, provide smoky sweet nuggets. The ones picture below are finished with a dollop of homemade spiced pumpkin jam but good old trusty maple syrup would never go amiss.
Makes approximately 12 pancakes
100g amaranth seed
300ml whole milk
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of sea salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 eggs, separated
75g dried apricots (finely chopped)
1. Start by making the amaranth porridge. Place the amaranth seed and 300 ml of whole milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. This can be done in advance, the day or evening before you wish to make the pancakes, it can be stored in the fridge until you need it.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked amaranth porridge and the buttermilk, set aside whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
4. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together into a separate bowl.
5. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, set aside.
6. Add the egg yolks, orange zest, vanilla extract and maple syrup to the porridge buttermilk mixture and beat well to incorporate.
7. Gently fold the flour mixture into the batter until fully incorporated and smooth.
8. Add the whisked egg whites a third at time, gently folding in each addition to add extra lightness to the batter.
9. Lightly oil a non-stick frying pan and place on a low heat. Allow the pan to warm through gently and then begin cooking your pancakes, (making them as large or small as you like), sprinkle over a few of the dried apricot pieces and once bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancakes take a peak underneath if they are lightly golden brown, flip them and cook on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes. I find the key to evenly cooked pancakes is to keep the heat medum – low and even. Have pateince
10. Serve the pancakes with rounds of the vanilla butter or topping of your choice.
*To make the vanilla compoun butter simply beat 150g unsalted butter with the seeds from one vanilla bean and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Served whipped or if you don’t intend using it all straight away then form it into a butter pat and wrap in greasproof paper to use as you require.