Over the weekend, I was entertaining some lovely young guests, and I woke them up one morning with sweet potato pancakes topped with candied walnuts and orange-brandy syrup. The improvised concoction, made with whatever I could find in the cupboard, was stupid delicious. I mean, STUPID good, y’all.
So, I share.
SWEET POTATO PANCAKES
Note: Make the nuts first, the syrup second, and the pancakes last. Serve with very lightly sweetened whipped cream and/or plain ol’ butter. Might want to throw in some apple slices on the side for your health.
FOR THE PANCAKES:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup each brown and white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each ground ginger and nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (canned is fine)
1 cup each milk and orange juice (or to taste)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract or flavoring
Sift together your dry ingredients. Mix in the wet stuff, adding as much milk and OJ as you need to achieve the desired consistency. More = thicker, less = thinner. Fry ’em up in a little bit of butter.
FOR THE WALNUTS:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat the butter in a saute or frying pan. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the walnuts and cook until no or little moisture remains, around 5 minutes. Set aside in a single layer to cool.
FOR THE SYRUP:
2/3 cup orange brandy
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 dashes of cinnamon
Stir both ingredients together and let boil, stirring constantly, until it froths into a cornucopia of glassy bubbles. Use a spoon to test for a syrupy, non-liquid consistency. Let cool slightly.
Pile ’em up and serve immediately.