It’s almost Christmastime, and I felt inspired to give my buckwheat and banana pancakes a festive makeover. Lightly spiced and full of festive dried fruit, Christmas pudding pancakes are a deliciously-festive way to start the day during the Christmas season. Sliced oranges in syrup and sweet cranberries are the prefect festive-seasonal fruity accompaniments. A garnish of maple roasted pecan and pumpkin seeds top off this dish nicely.
I’ve started you off with my own inspiration, but as with many of my recipes, I encourage you to adapt and substitute to suit your tastes, allergy requirements or to suit the ingredients available in your area. I have used pecans in my recipe, but you could replace them with walnuts, almonds or create a nut free garnish using a combination of sunflower and pumpkin seeds; any of these would be delicious. Instead of oranges choose your favourite citrus fruit, just consider how sweet they are and adjust to taste. Fresh cranberries may be available to you or, if you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere like me, fresh cherries are a favourite Summer Christmas treat. For a Middle eastern twist, try pistachios and barberries or fresh pomegranate seeds and maybe a hint or cardamom in your pancakes.
Christmas Pudding Pancakes
Serves 4 – 6 people depending on appetite.
- 160g buckwheat flour
- 1 medium banana
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Agave syrup or a homemade date syrup
- 120ml coconut water or orange juice
- 120ml unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 cup fruit cake mix – or your choice of dried fruit finely diced
Blend all ingredients except the dried fruit together to make a smooth batter. If making the batter ahead of time, add the baking powder just before cooking. Stir through the dried fruit.
Lightly oil a heavy-based fry pan or griddle and bring to a medium heat.
Pour 1/4 cup of the pancake batter on to the frypan or griddle. (For a no-oil pancake use a non-stick frypan.)
They are ready to turn over when air bubbles appear on the surface and a skin starts to form. Reduce the temperature if they burn before cooking on the surface.
Cook until lightly golden.
Orange and Cranberries in Syrup
- 1/4 dried cranberries
- 1 cup favourite orange juice
- 2 tsp potato starch
- sweetener of choice
Mix potato starch into the cold orange juice, gently heat in a small pot, stirring until it thickens. If it goes lumpy, whiz it in a blender. Sweeten to taste with your favourite sweetener; maple or agave syrup are perfect. Stir in the cranberries and add the orange slices to the pot and gently coat in the syrup. Keep warm on a very low heat or re-heat for service.
Maple Roasted Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
Toss pecans and pumpkin seeds in maple syrup, spread in a single layer on a lined baking tray and bake at 160ºC for 10 minutes, toss and to ensure they bake evenly and bake a further 10 minutes or until evenly cooked. Cool and store in an airtight container until needed.
You could make a large batch for serving as a snack or using as a garnish during the holiday season.
A Wreath of Christmas Pudding Pancakes
As with many of my dishes, elements can be prepared separately ahead of time. Perfect when feeding a large group, or when you you would prefer to spend time around the table and not in the kitchen. Gently reheat the pancakes (10-20 seconds in a microwave will work) and arrange on a plate or cake stand for a more dramatic presentation. Warm the fruit and syrup to dress your pancake wreath and garnish with maple pecans and pumpkin seeds before serving.
You could of course serve Christmas Pudding Pancakes as a dessert with a glass of Festive Egg (less) Nog.