Shameless Chef

The Shameless Chef: Pumpkin Pancakes

For some reason, the food industry thinks we're only supposed to enjoy pumpkin-flavored goodness between Halloween and Christmas. That's the only time we're instructed to eat pumpkin pie or pumpkin-flavored ice cream... hell, that's the only time those awesome pumpkin-flavored vegan cookies are available. Well, I say damn the man. We got rid of that stupid white-shoes-after-Labor-Day law, we can break the seasonal pumpkin embargo.

We're making pumpkin pancakes, after the jump.

You will need:

• 2 1/2 cups of Bisquick or other pancake mix. • 1 egg. • 1 3/4 cup of milk. • 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil • 2 tbsp. of vinegar. • 3 tbsp. brown sugar. Normal granulated white sugar will work too. • 2 1/2 tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice. • 1 cup of pumpkin puree / pumpkin pie filling / whatever they call it.

Yeah, that's kind of a lot of ingredients, but relax. The first thing you do is mix all the dry ingredients together in your big-ass mixing bowl. That would be the Bisquick, the sugar, and the pumpkin pie spice. Some people also like to add a tablespoon or so of ginger; I tried it that way, and it's pretty delicious as well. So, once you've got all the dry stuff in the bowl, mix it up with an egg beater, whisk, fork, or whatever you've got lying around. Once the dry stuff is mixed, dump everything else into the bowl and mix it. You now have pumpkin pancake batter.

Now you'll heat up your stove / skillet to around 300 degrees, maybe a little hotter. I used a Hibachi-type grill because you can more accurately set the heat; it's nice to know I'm cooking things at a temperature of 315 degrees, as opposed to "6".

If you don't have something that'll let you know the exact temperature, just pour out a silver-dollar sized dollop of batter and test it out. If the bottom turns dark brown before the top is even solid, the temperature is up too high. If the thing just sits there and does nothing, it's too low.

Once you've got the temperature correct, you can pour out some pancakes and start cooking. Generally, you leave a pancake to cook until it starts bubbling; not only is this a good indication that one side has cooked enough, but the bubbles help to cook the batter all the way through. Don't flip it if the side facing up is too runny; if the underside is getting too dark before the top has finished solidifying, turn down the heat.

That's pretty much it. These things are amazing, and we love to cook some up around the house regardless of what time of year it is. Damn the man, kids. Remember that.

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John Seaborn Gray