November 11, 2010
In the novel City of Bones (by Cassandra Clare), Clary Fry orders coconut pancakes at a diner in New York. It was a minor detail in a scene, and not relevant to the storyline, but the idea struck me hard as a good one. Why had I never had coconut pancakes before? I had to make some.
I looked online, but didn't find any recipes that really caught my fancy - many of them being more crepe-like or using coconut flour, which I didn't have on hand. I decided to simply modify several existing pancake recipes that I already make.
Makes: 10 - 12 fluffy pancakes (4" diameter)
Total Prep & Cooking Time: 45 minutes
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup fine unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 egg, beaten
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well with a fork. In a separate bowl, or large measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients (start with the 3/4 cup of milk amount), beating well until smooth.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients all at once. Stir rapidly with a fork to combine. The batter will be quite thick, but if it starts looking more like biscuit dough, add extra milk, 1/4 cup at a time. Continue to stir with a fork until all dry bits are integrated. Don't try to make it totally lump-free - a few small lumps in the batter are normal, and you don't want to overmix it. Plus, the coconut makes it look lumpier than it really is. Let the batter stand for about 15 minutes.
Spritz a large, non-stick skillet with canola oil, and allow it to heat over medium-high heat until you can flick a drop of water on the surface, and it dances. You can use a teaspoon to make a "tester" pancake if you like. Use a large, shallow serving spoon to scoop batter into the pan - I can fit three pancakes in my 12-inch skillet. Allow them to cook until the edges start to look a little dry, and little bubbles are rising to the surface in the middle of the pancake (about two minutes, but check underneath as needed), then flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so.
Transfer finished pancakes to a rack in a warm oven to hold until all of the pancakes are ready. You probably won't need to re-spray the skillet before ladling the next set of pancakes in, but it's a good idea to aim for the empty spaces between where the previous pancakes cooked, just to help preserve the pan's non-stick surface.
Serve with any of your favourite pancake toppings. We had ours with whisky syrup (and some with orange-flower honey). I bet Nutella would be terrific, with or without bananas...
Leftover pancakes re-heat beautifully in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast.