Fall in Florida and some great pancakes

I had a wonderful trip to Dallas last week and enjoyed visiting with my friends. It has been hard to meet new people here in Florida since I have been working virtually and have also been without work since I moved here.  Although the trip was not just for fun, I got my friend/dating fix for awhile!

It has been a hot and humid summer here in S. Florida but this week things have changed. It is absolutely beautiful. I guess those pesky hurricanes have provided us with some cooler weather and a wonderful breeze. It is so nice having the windows open and sitting on the patio. I guess we can call this fall weather in Florida!

Yesterday my mother and sister said they were headed to one of their favorite breakfast spots, Denny’s.  Yes, it isn’t gourmet food but you get a great home style breakfast at a very reasonable price! A little later they called and the place was so crowded that they left and were trying to find somewhere else to eat. I invited them over, not having a clue what I would feed them.  They agreed.

I had 40 minutes to come up with a Mom pleasing menu but also didn’t want a high fat, high cholesterol meal for them.  Well, if you don’t know already, breakfast is my favorite company meal. I have been collecting recipes for company breakfasts for years.

I pulled out my file and tried to decide, based on the few ingredients I had in the fridge, what Mom pleasing breakfast I could come up with.  My mother loves ginger cookies and there in my files was a recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes with a Winter Fruit Compote!! Not only that, it was provided to the December 1993 (yes, I have been collecting for a long time!) issue of Shape magazine by Gayle Shockey Hoxter MPH, RD. A healthy recipe! Hooray, breakfast was on!

As for ingredients, well I had to adapt a little to make it work without going to the store. Who has buttermilk sitting around in the refrigerator anyway? That said, the recipe was a cinch to put together and I was able to ready everything and clean up the kitchen some before my family arrived.

I would like to say it was all healthy, but my family arrived, bacon in hand, so they did add a little protein and fat to the menu. The meal was a hit. We loved the spicy pancakes and the fresh fruit compote. It was nice to have breakfast with and to enjoy some time with my family.

Since I made some real adaption’s to the original recipe, I have provided both the original and my changes.  I would recommend going with the original buttermilk ingredient and also tasting a pancake, then adding some sugar to taste to the rest of the batch. The compote sweetens things but without any sweetener in the pancakes, they are too breadlike. I was happy with my addition of baking powder too. It made the pancakes rise very nicely.

I hope you are able to enjoy these with your loved ones some morning.

Gingerbread Pancakes
4 Servings

1 ½ cups flour
1 tbs ground ginger    
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbs canola oil
1 ¼ cups nonfat buttermilk
2 egg whites
Nonstick cooking spray

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, combine oil, buttermilk and egg whites and whisk until blended.
Stir liquids into dry ingredients until slightly blended. The mixture should be fairly thick and lumpy. Do not overmix.
Preheat the griddle and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon 4 tbl of batter per pancake onto the griddle and fry until the edges are set. Flip and repeat.
Remove pancakes from griddle and keep warm until all pancakes are cooked. Serve with compote of winter fruits.

Compote of Winter Fruits
4 Servings
½ cup honey
½ cup rum
1/3 cup raisins
½ cup mixture of dried apricots, pears and apples
½ cup diced apples
½ cup diced pears
½ cup orange segments or peeled slices
1 tbs lemon zest
Combine honey, rum, raisins and dried fruit in a large stainless steel saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until dried fruits are soft
Remove from heat and add diced apples, pears, orange segment and lemon zest, blending until well combined. Spoon over pancakes and serve

Nutritional information
305 calories, less than 1 percent from fat (0.3g), 98% carbohydrate, 1 percent protein

My versions:
Pancakes: I had no buttermilk so I substituted what I had, 1 container okyo pineapple yogurt and enough milk to make the mix wet enough to ladle.  The buttermilk by itself should give the right consistency.
I added about ¼ tsp baking powder and they were nice and puffy.
The first batch with no sugar was only slightly sweet from the yogurt. I added enough sugar to make it sweeter but not really sweet. The compote adds the sweetness. If you use buttermilk you will probably need more sugar than I used.

The compote:
I had no dried fruit so I cut up some golden crisp apple and a Bartlett pear (cored of course). To that I added the maple syrup I had and since I only had a little, I added honey, some orange marmalade, a teaspoon of rum and a stick of cinnamon. I heated on medium until the fruit was just soft, and then served it with the pancakes.