You know how most book lovers have certain things they just will not tolerate? At least one of these things usually makes its way onto a bibliophile’s Do Not Do list: Dog-earing corners; placing down an open book with its spine facing up instead of using a bookmark; using inappropriate items to mark your place; writing in a book.
For me, not writing in books was a steadfast rule. For thirty-odd years, I wouldn’t so much as pencil my name inside the cover of a book. All of that changed when I found out I was allergic to wheat, and suddenly realized that almost none of my favorite recipes were wheat/gluten free. I attempted rewriting every single recipe out in my own hand. But then – well, have you seen my handwriting?
Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, and definitely my favorite one to bake from. I bought it while I was still figuring out whether my issues were with wheat or all things gluten, and as a result I got into the habit of adapting most of this books’s recipes to be gluten free. (And vegan.)
Buckwheat cornmeal pear pancakes
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I think these taste best if you use vegan butter in the batter, but they also taste pretty good if you use coconut oil. They hold their height and crumb after they’ve cooled, and reheat well the next day. You can eat them folded up taco-style around a few strips of tempeh bacon, or stacked up and drizzled with maple syrup. Most of the time, I serve them with whatever fruit didn’t make it into our morning smoothie.
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Coconut oil or vegan butter, for the pan
1/3 Cup buckwheat flour
1/3 Cup fine grain cornmeal
1/3 Cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted vegan butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 Cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon flaxseed, ground (grind after measuring)
1 Tablespoon very hot water
1 medium pear, ripe but firm, peeled
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Whisk the melted butter, soy milk, and apple cider vinegar until thoroughly combined. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the whole peeled pear into the batter; the juice should also fall into the bowl. Gently fold the grated pear into the batter. The batter should be slightly thick, with flecks of pear throughout.
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter or coconut oil, to ensure crisp, buttery edges. Working quickly, dollop 1/4 Cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth as needed before griddling additional batches. If the pan is too hot or not hot enough, adjust the flame accordingly. Repeat until all of the batter is gone.
Be sure to ‘test’ the first one out of the griddle; they disappear fast.
Yield: 6-7 pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10-15 minutes