Kitchen Lab: Punkin’ Pancakes, Makin’ Punkin’ Pancakes…
Now that the season of All Things Pumpkin is transitioning rapidly into a Peppermint Extravaganza, I can share with you the results of my Very Scientific Comparison of pumpkin pancakes from a mix vs. from a recipe. (With some French toast thrown in for good measure.) I wanted to see what the difference, if any, would be between a mix that is intended to appeal to everyone, and a recipe that can do as it will. So here we go!
Sample the First: The Mix
No trip to the punkin patch is complete without the purchase of entirely unnecessary items. When your pumpkin patch has pig races, a mechanical, pumpkin-eating dinosaur, and two tents worth of exotic animals plus the opportunity to feed giraffes, anything goes. Other than pumpkins, we also got cider, doughnuts, some black raspberry jam, an excess of fudge, and a package of pumpkin pancake mix. Though the “add pumpkin” part seems to preclude having the word “pumpkin” in the name, I shan’t be that crazy woman complaining that there’s no actual pumpkin in my pumpkin spice whatever.
I hadn’t made pancakes from a mix in forever, so I was pleasantly surprised at how little time it took. Oh, so this is why people use mixes! (And they also probably don’t choose a different damn pancake recipe every friggin’ weekend, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Mix, egg, milk, pumpkin. Boom. Easy to stir up, and it made a really nice, uniformly-round set of pancakes. Which was nice, I guess. They weren’t either fluffy or flat, unspiced or too pumpkin-spice-y… they were pretty average. They smelled nice, but not so much with the flavor. I mean, there’s a bit more heartiness there because added pumpkin, but eh.
I’ll use the rest of the mix and consider it a novelty item I’ve tried.
Intermission: The French Toast
When you don’t use your whole can of pumpkin in your pancake mix, you’ve gotta do SOMETHING with the leftovers. Thankfully, weekends provide TWO opportunities for delightful breakfast foods, even if they’re somewhat similar.
I honestly don’t remember where I looked up the recipe I tried, but it’s essentially the same as making regular French toast with 1/4 cup of pumpkin plus a smidge of cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe ginger in the custard. I kinda liked it! Plus I fudged a bit on the spices because I know I like it spicy, and it all turned out well. (I know I could have done that with the pancake mix, but I do like to try recipes as-is for the first time I make them and then tweak.)
I call pumpkin French toast a success.
Sample the Second: The Recipe
Stored properly in a well-sealed container, pumpkin puree will last until the following weekend. Or, at least, that’s what I decided, and the results were quite good!
Because the Internet has become my cookbook, I went a-browsing and found this recipe for pumpkin pancakes. This was literally no harder than any other from-scratch pancake recipe, and it was different enough to be interesting. They smelled amazing and tasted great, and though they could have been a bit fluffier that might be on me and my tendency to overmix. Definitely my favorite of the three test recipes!
They made great leftovers, too. (The recipe is pretty scant, but I’d made them for just myself this time.)
The Verdict: Homemade FTW
While there’s something to be said for the ease of a mix, they just didn’t impress me enough with their roundness to make up for how much better the from-scratch pancakes were. The French toast was fine, but not quite the same as a nice pancake. So even though we’re out of
basic pumpkin spice season now, I think a nice punkin pancake would still be a nice thing for you to try.