Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ginger Pancakes with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

These pancakes are divine!! Healthy; loaded with wheat germ and fresh ginger they are the perfect vessel for the strawberry-rhubarb compote that I slathered over top! My husband woke up to the smell of strawberry, rhubarb and sorghum syrup bubbling away on the stove; it smelled better than pie baking. The pancakes were slightly spicy because of the fresh ginger and they had a nutty and pleasing texture due to the addition of wheat germ in the batter. The strawberry-rhubarb compote was sweet, tangy and full of floral vanilla and warm cinnamon, probably my most favorite pancake topping to date!

I was shopping at my local co-op and ran across an unfamiliar product, sorghum syrup. I had never heard of nor tasted this syrup before and of course it went right into my cart. I got home and started tasting and reading up on this little bottle of liquid gold. It tastes like a cross between really deep, intense caramel and floral, smoky molasses, I am absolutely in love with this stuff. It is very popular in the south and is used in all kinds of baking and breakfast recipes. Sorghum syrup and hot biscuits is a very popular breakfast in some southern states, and it might just become a favorite in our Yankee household as well! I went to a farm dinner last year and we sat in front of a sorghum field and I was under the impression it was planted to enrich the soil and put back nutrients. I had no idea that it had other, more delicious uses. The company that makes this product is local to me, right outside of NYC in the Catskill mountains, Blenheim Hill Farm. The farm provides products for Smorgas Chef, a restaurant which has 3 locations in NYC. They also ship things to be sold in health food stores and co-ops in NY. The farm is gorgeous and their mission is to provide diners with fresh, local foods as well as being a model for small-scale farming. I just love everything they are doing, I hope you check them out...its pretty outstanding.

I used the sorghum syrup to sweeten the strawberry-rhubarb compote in addition to raw cane sugar because I wanted that caramel/molasses depth of flavor. It was a match made in heaven, the tangy sour fruits go so well with the deep smoky flavor of the sorghum syrup, next time I might not use sugar at all and go all in with just the syrup! I added in some floral vanilla seeds and spicy, warm cinnamon and ended up eating it by the spoonful it was so good. Warm, chunky and an incredible depth of flavor.

This recipe makes 6 medium size pancakes. The compote will serve more.


For Pancakes

3/4 Cup unbleached, organic, all purpose flour
1/4 Cup Wheat germ, I use Hodgson Mills.
2 Tbsp raw cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Cup organic, grass-fed, whole milk
2 Tbsp organic, grass-fed butter, melted, I used Cowbella
1 pasture raised, farm egg, I used Feather Ridge Farm
2 Tbsp fresh ginger finely minced or grated
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Pasture raised butter for cooking, 1 tsp each.

For Compote

4 to 5 Stalks of organic rhubarb, enough for a cup, chopped
1 Cup organic strawberries, chopped
1/2 organic apple, peel on, diced (this does not add flavor it is only for pectin to thicken sauce)
1/3 Cup fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar
2 Tbsp sorghum syrup, molasses or maple syrup can be substituted but I highly recommend finding this product.
1 Vanilla bean
1 Tbsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and place a baking sheet on the middle rack. This is to keep the pancakes warm while you are cooking them all.

In a saucepan over high heat place all compote ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer till the apples are soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and take the vanilla bean out. Cut in half with a pairing knife and scrape the seeds. Mix the seeds into the sauce. Set the sauce aside, it will thicken upon standing.

In a large bowl combine all pancake ingredients. Mix only to combine, DO NOT OVER MIX. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over low heat. Melt 1 tsp of butter and ladle in batter, spreading out slightly. Flip with the edges are dry and there are tiny bubbles over the surface of the batter, about 7 minutes. The second side will cook more quickly, remove from the pan and into the preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter.

To serve, place pancakes on a serving platter, top with butter, compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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