Today is free pancake day at IHOP! And I happen to work across the street from an IHOP but upon leaving the parking lot at work I looked across and the lot at IHOP was so frickin’ full I decided to head home and make some for myself.
Seriously though, today is “Shrove Tuesday”, also widely known as “Pancake Day”. This is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, which starts Lent. This is a day of many names, also known as “Fat Tuesday”, or Mardi Gras in French. There is a large Polish community here in the Buffalo, NY area so this day is also known by some as “Paczki Day”. If you don’t know, Paczkis are Polish donuts, often with a cream or fruit filling. They will have paczkis in the local grocery stores and bakeries for a few days yet so I will have to make sure to pick up a box! Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to making some as they are ever so yummy! Genrally though, this is a day of indulgence. I have indulged in different ways in the past to celebrate Mardi Gras, including drinking much more than I should much to my regret the next day, but most often by eating too much. This year I will forgo the drinking extravaganza (until possibly tomorrow night at a Mardi Gras themed tapping party at a local Gordon Biersch brewery…) and stick with eating too many pancakes.
Since the goal here is “indulgent” I didn’t want to make any ordinary pancakes. I contemplated banana bread pancakes which have been on the docket for a while but I had a big fresh pineapple sitting on the kitchen counter just begging to be used to make pineapple upside down pancakes. With a rum syrup. Yup. It’s as good as it sounds.
Don’t worry though, I will get to those banana bread pancakes one of these days. 😉
Dad I’m going to have to make these pineapple upside down pancakes for you sometime- they are right up your ally!
Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes with Rum Syrup
(Adapted from “Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes” on http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pineapple-Upside-Down-Pancakes-394710)
Makes approximately eight 4” pancakes
Ingredients for Pineapple and Rum Syrup:
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 large pineapple, peeled, cut into eight 1/2″ rounds, cored
- 1 ½ cups dark rum
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar (may substitute light brown sugar if desired although dark is highly recommended for best color and depth of flavor)
- Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
Ingredients for the Pancakes:
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. fine kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted + butter for greasing pan
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Accumulated juices from cutting the pineapple (about 1/2 tbsp.) or 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (don’t use a full 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice it could be too strong, unless you like that). You can thin out the pancakes with a splash of additional buttermilk if you wish
- 8 Maraschino cherries, optional
Directions for the Pineapple and Syrup:
- Melt butter with cinnamon stick in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Cook until butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add pineapple slices; cook until light golden brown, 4-5 minutes per side.
- Remove skillet from heat; add rum and brown sugar.
- Cook over medium-high heat until juices are thick and syrupy.
- Transfer pineapple to a plate; let cool. Reserve syrup.
Directions for Pancakes:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Whisk first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients; whisk until smooth. At this point I also add in the accumulated pineapple juice from cutting it into rings (about 1/2 tsbp.).
- Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto griddle.
- Cook each pancake for about 1 minute and then top each with a pineapple ring and place a maraschino cherry in the center of the ring.
- Continue to cook each pancake until golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 1-2 more minutes.
- Flip; cook until pancake is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place pancakes on prepared rack and keep warm in oven while the remaining pancakes cook.
- Rewarm reserved pineapple syrup. Divide pancakes among plates; drizzle with pineapple syrup.
A note about my syrup: I was in a hurry trying to finish this off for dinner I would recommend reducing it further than I did. It was still delicious and cooked long enough to cook out the “raw” alcohol taste but it wasn’t quite at the thickness that it should be. If you like a thinner syrup then by all means stop at this point. Just saying, you can make this thicker with a longer cooking time! Also, this is a double syrup recipe from the recipe I based this on because many of the reviews I read said that the smaller volume simply wasn’t enough syrup (because it is so darn nom nom). But even i had leftover syrup, which isn’t a bad thing. This is AWESOME over ice cream!!!!!