Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sweet-Potato Pancakes

This one comes from the May 5th Los Angeles Times.  The restaurant that originated this recipe is the Highland Bakery in Atlanta.  Because you can microwave the potatoes, it only takes slightly longer to prepare the batter than for other kinds of pancakes.  The recipe specifies a food processor, to get the smoothest texture possible.  If you don't have one, I would suggest overcooking the potatoes slightly and using an electric beater, followed by running the potato-and-buttermilk mixture through a sieve.  Otherwise, you may get stringy pancakes.

I'm assuming the odd amounts of some ingredients are because they are used to making much larger batches of batter.  If you quadruple the recipe, it comes out less awkward.  (3-1/4 C each flour, 5 C sweet potato, 1-1/2 C brown sugar, etc.)

1-1/2 lb raw sweet potato in skin
3/4 C plus 1 Tb whole wheat flour
3/4 C plus 1 Tb all-purpose flour
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp nutmeg
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C butter
2 eggs
1/4 C plus 2 Tb (6 Tb) light brown sugar
1-1/2 C buttermilk, or more
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tb molasses

1.  Scrub clean the skin of the sweet potato(es) and pierce all over with a fork.  Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 6 to 7 minutes, until fork-tender, rotating halfway through.  Slit open and let cool until easy to handle.

2.  While potato is cooling, sift together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

3.  Scoop out flesh of potato and measure 1-1/4 C.  Pulse in a food processor with butter until smooth.  Add eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses and run until smooth again.  Add as much of the buttermilk as the processor can handle (I got 1 C) and run one last time.

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry, including remaining buttermilk.  Stir until just mixed.  It makes a thick batter.  If it is too thick to spoon, add a little more buttermilk.

5.  Lightly oil a griddle and heat over medium.  Spoon batter onto griddle as desired.  I made silver-dollar sized pancakes because they're easier to flip and I was taking them to a pot luck.  The thick batter takes a while to cook and doesn't bubble as much as the pancakes I'm used to making.  When the top sets, about 3 minutes, flip pancakes and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Serve hot with syrup or brown sugar butter sauce.

Makes about 2 dozen

Brown sugar butter sauce

1 stick (1/2 C) butter
1 C light brown sugar
1/4 C water

1.  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.  Whisk in water and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened.  Makes about 1 C.

Difficulty rating :)

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