Brunch Series – Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

These are so delicious and easy, I’d be crazy NOT to post them. I have quite the affinity for fall food. Squash, and dark greens, apples and blood oranges. If I had to choose one season to always eat in, Nay, live in, I would choose fall.  That is why my husband I and I chose to get married in the fall – because we love it so much. I feel a special kind of happiness when a chill hits the air and the trees start to turn, and these pancakes are the perfect companion for a brisk autumn Sunday.

Even though you have to process your oats to make these pancakes, it is a small effort that makes it totally worth it. These pancakes are surprisingly fluffy and delicious. My husband, especially loved their sweet, creamy pumpkin flavor, coupled with the airy texture. With just a little bit of butter and a light drizzle of maple syrup, they are all the things I love about fall bundled into a delicious little concoction.  I highly recommend.

Adapted from Running to the Kitchen

1 1/3 cups of quick oats

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup of almond milk (although, I’m sure cow’s milk would work as well)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp mace (optional)

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of salt

Heat a large griddle or pan.  In a food processor, grind oats into a fine meal, nearly flour consistency.  Add all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Grease griddle and pour mixture into small circles.  Cook until edges begin to bubble, then flip.  Cook the other side completely.  Enjoy warm.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

This is just one more leftover recipe from Thanksgiving.  Its a stunning combination of the spicy sweet taste of pumpkin pie with the rich creaminess of custard.  It is pretty much the perfect kind of dessert.

I created my own recipe after sampling a few online and being genearlly dissatisfied with all of them.  This is a luxourious thick custard with lots of pumpkin flavor and just the right amount of spice.  The burnt sugar topping is made with brown sugar instead of white sugar for an added layer off flavor. 

Don’t be afraid of custard.  Really.  As always, I will give you my simple tricks that make even creme brulee simple.  Step 1: Cook in a water bath.  This means you will have to cook your brulee in ramekins.  If you have very small bowls, they would work as well.  As you can see from my picture, I have flat square ramekins.  They just make cooking quicker and more even, but I’ve done this is small bowls and round ramekins as well.  Get your kettle going so you have hot water.  Place the filled ramekins in a baking dish.  Slowly pour hot water until it comes halfway up the side of the ramekin.  Then slide it in the oven!  Step 2: You do NOT need fancy equipment to get the crunchy carmelized top on your creme brulee.  Simply raise your oven rack to the highest notch.  Crank the heat to broil.  Place set custards with sugar under the broiler.  Make sure the ramekins are approximately 2 inches from the broiler.  Leave them there for a few minutes and the sugar should be nice and caramelized.

15 ounces of canned pumpkin

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cups cream

1 cup half and half

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon of brandy

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

a little extra brown sugar to finish off the creme brulee

Preheat the oven to 325.  Mix pumpkin and sugars.  Add in egg yolks, vanilla, brandy, and spices.

In a saucepan, heat cream and half and half until it begins to bubble.  Add warm cream mixture to pumpkin mixture.  Stir together slowly.

Divide custard into ramekins.  This will make approximately 8 creme brulees.  Place ramekins in 2 baking dishes and fill the baking dish with warm water as described in the above step 1.  Be careful not to get any water in the custard.

Cook custard at 325 for approximately 40 minutes.  Custard is done when it is set and the middle jiggles slighty when shaken.

Let custard set for at least 6 hours.  This means you can make the custard well ahead of time.  Let cool then place in the fridge.

When ready to serve, remove ramekins from fridge.  Set oven to broil and move oven rack to the top.  Sprinkle the custard with a very thin layer of brown sugar.  Place 2 inches below broiler for a few minutes, or until sugar is bubbling.  Remove and let sugar cool, then serve!