On the weekend we had walnuts and pears from our friend Imogen’s grandmother’s farm in Cobram, near the Murray River. Imogen has been bringing back boxes of Autumnal produce: apples, pears, limes and walnuts from their orchard. The pink lady apples are perfectly crunchy and delicious straight from the tree (or technically the box), but we wanted to make something beautiful with the pears.
The pancake syrup has an all encompassing pear flavour, so that even if there isn’t a bite of pear on your fork the syrup carries the pear flavour right through. The occasional crunch of the walnut makes an excellent contrast to the softness of the pancake. Hopefully Imogen’s grandmother would approve.
Pancakes with Caramelised Pears
Sarah says: My mother taught me how to make pancakes or pikelets, when I was about 7. I think it was the first thing I really learnt to cook. Its easy, and I don’t measure (as you probably have realised by now) but here is the recipe as best as I can describe it, with visuals and vibes. Adapt it as you wish!
Basic Pancake Recipe
4 cups self raising flour
2 free-range eggs
3 cups milk
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Create a little well in the middle of the flour for the eggs, and break them into the mixture. Add a dash of milk and whisk the milk and eggs gradually bringing in a bit of flour at a time. When the mixture is stiff add some more milk to the well. Whisk. Keep adding milk until the mixture is the consistency of thickened cream. It should have some bubbles appearing from all your good whisking work. If you need more milk and your fridge is a little empty (make sure you have enough milk for coffee) you can use water if you need more than 3 cups. Add until you get a rich, thick and smooth mix.
Heat a heavy based frypan at a moderate heat, add butter. You don’t want the butter to burn or for the pan to be smoking. If it gets too hot during the cooking procedure take it off the heat and wipe out with paper towel and start again with the butter.
Add a cupful of the mixture to the pan gently. If it looks a little uneven lift the pan off the heat and swirl it around until it’s a good circle and put the pan back on the heat. When there are bubbles that are beginning to rise to the surface and the edges seem rounded and firm, use a spatula to loosen the pancake from the pan and carefully flip!
When the pancake is cooked on the other side it’s done.
Repeat until you have an empty bowl of mix. This may take a while. Try to keep the other pancakes warm heat in a low oven with a damp tea towel over them.
2 cups brown sugar
1 Bossce Pear, cut into 1cm thick wedges
1 Corella Pear, cut into 1cm thick wedges
1 Packham Pear, cut into 1cm thick wedges
1 tsp vanilla extract (or one split vanilla pod if you have one)
1 tbsp fresh walnuts, roughly chopped
Melt the butter in a pan and add the brown sugar, heat and mix with a wooden spoon until a bit glossy. Add your pears. Gently move them about the pan. The pears will cook and release some juice, then they will caramelise. Gently move them about until you have a thick caramel sauce and the pears are slightly transparent. Let the pears rest for a moment while you prepare the pancakes on your plates.
Place the pears on your pancakes with the caramel sauce. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve with cream.