Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Fall is my favorite time of year. When I lived on the east coast I loved watching the leaves change colors and finally being able to wear my cozy sweaters and boots. In LA there aren't really seasons, but you can definitely tell when it's fall. The temperature drops just enough that you need to wear a light sweater or jacket instead of a tee shirt at night.
Fall is also my favorite time of year because there are so many food options with pumpkin. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake. But, what I crave the most this time of year are pumpkin pancakes. I make mine from scratch with ricotta cheese and with an apple cider caramel sauce. Seriously it's so good!
Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple schnapps
1. Combine the cream, apple juice, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm while you make the caramel.
2. Combine the sugar, 1/2 cup water, and the cider vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat, and cook without stirring until it reaches a deep amber color, about 8 minutes.
3. Slowly strain in the warm cream, whisking constantly; continue whisking until smooth. (Be careful! The caramel will bubble up as you add the cream.) Whisk in the apple schnapps and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat before serving.
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup ricotta, drained for 1 hour in a strainer set over a bowl
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus melted butter or nonstick spray for the griddle
1. Preheat the oven to 250F degrees. Place a baking sheet with a rack in the oven to heat.
2. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, ricotta, pumpkin and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined; do not overmix. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
4. Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Brush with melted butter or spray with nonstick spray. Drop a scant 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan; cook until small bubbles form on the surface and at the edges and the bottom is lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. (Adjust the heat if the bottom browns too quickly.) Flip, and continue cooking until golden brown on the reverse side, another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove to the rack in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
5. Top with apple cider caramel sauce. You're welcome!