FRONT BURNER: Pancakes make up for postponed vacation

Caramelized Pineapple Pancakes with Rum Syrup and whipped cream (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)
Caramelized Pineapple Pancakes with Rum Syrup and whipped cream (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

If all had gone according to plan, I'd be sitting a on beach sipping a rum drink right about now.

Well, I would be in a few hours anyway.

But things did not go according to plan. My spring break trip, like those of many others, was derailed by covid-19. We've rescheduled for late summer/early fall and I have my fingers crossed, knock on wood, that life will have returned to some semblance of normal by then.

But just because I'm not at the beach, that doesn't mean I can't eat like I am.

I would have, there is no doubt, picked up a locally-grown pineapple from a roadside stand.

And then, probably the next morning after sleeping in or watching the sunrise, made these pancakes.

At our vacation rental, I would have used self-rising flour to avoid needing to buy baking powder. If you have some on hand, either from a previous project or because that's all that was available at the store, feel free to use it here. Just make sure you leave out the baking powder and salt. In a pinch, I imagine you could use Bisquick, but I haven't tried making them that way.

You can use fresh or canned pineapple, but I prefer fresh. For how-to cut a fresh pineapple into rings, see the accompanying video.

Caramelized Pineapple Pancakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour OR self-rising flour (see note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch baking soda

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

7 ounces whole milk

3 eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more as needed

6 (¼-to ½-inch thick) pineapple slices, cored if using fresh

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Desired toppings such as whipped cream, sliced bananas, chopped macadamia nuts

Rum Syrup (recipe follows) or maple syrup, for serving

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Slowly stir in the milk, followed by the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the melted and cooled butter. Cover and refrigerate batter for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking.

Dust each side of each pineapple slice with confectioners' sugar; set aside.

Add a small pat of butter to a large nonstick skillet and place over medium-low heat. Add as many of the pineapple slices as will easily fit in a single layer. Cook pineapple, turning once or twice, until golden brown on each side. Remove pineapple slices to a plate.

In the same skillet, place a pineapple slice in the center of the skillet and carefully pour about ¼ cup of batter over the pineapple ring, letting the batter extend an inch or so past the pineapple ring. Cook until batter is filled with bubbles and edges look dry. Using a wide spatula, carefully flip pancake and cook until on second side until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Repeat with remaining pineapple slices and pancake batter.

Serve immediately with desired toppings and syrup.

Makes about 6 pancakes.

Note: If using self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt.

Recipe adapted from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart: Best-Ever Cakes, Desserts & Treats From a Modern Sweets Maestro by Darren Purchese

Rum Sauce

6 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon rum (dark or spiced recommended) OR rum flavoring, to taste

Dash cinnamon

In a small pan, combine brown sugar and butter and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and sugar is completely moistened. Stir in the rum and cinnamon and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. If syrup is too thick, add a tablespoon or so of water.

Makes about ½ cup.

Food on 04/01/2020

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