Orange Yoghurt Pancakes with Pistachio Maple Sauce

There are few things in this world which get me like breakfast.

It’s the comforting push of the espresso button on my Nespresso machine, the warm streaming guzz. The silence in the air when I’m by myself, early in the morning, papers nestled on the table. Toaster’s on, get the butter out. Usually, it’s these 5-minute affairs, with toast and butter and honey, or any other topping combination you can think of, and morning’s set just about right. But come the weekend, something a little more.. lascivious demands to be made. I’m not talking Eggs Benedict or Crepe Suzette here (might get to either at some point in my life, kind of, maybe, hopefully), but Sunday’s always full of lazy reading and crude TV humour and, well, pancakes. With bags full of citrus fruit and a fresh tub of yoghurt at home, I guess you could say I knew what I had to do. Orange and yoghurt it was. I played around with orange in this recipe, one of my favourite cake bases by far, so check that one out in keen.

I think the magic of this recipe lies in the yoghurt, which makes everything supremely moist, and… this bloody good sauce! Once you go green, you’ll always be keen. In the language of pistachios, I mean. Ok, that was pretty bad.

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Oh, I can’t stop thinking about this sauce. It’s a revelation. Smooth sweet, buttery, with a hint of tang, complementing the orange flavour perfectly. The main component is pistachio butter, but if you do not have that, don’t fret! Any nut butter you have on hand is perfect for this recipe– natural peanut or almond works perfectly, for they have the same consistency. The only thing is flavour preference. Someone near and dear to me hates pistachios and I have nothing against that, so work with your palate! As for the pancakes, just be sure not to overmix the batter and let it rest for 5 minutes, before proceeding with the ladling, and you’re good to go. Each pancake is soft, on the thinner side, and very well-aerated. Stack two or three and eat in mini triangle stacks, with the sauce and fresh fruit.

Orange Yoghurt Pancakes with Pistachio Maple Sauce (makes 10-12)

For the pancakes:

150g whole wheat or all-purpose flour (I used a mix of both)

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

110g yoghurt (avoid using greek, but if you must, thin it out a little with a drizzle of milk)

1 egg

100ml milk of choice (I used whole, but feel free to use almond milk; I imagine it would be lovely here)

90ml freshly squeezed orange juice (round about the amount yielded from one small orange) and the zest of one orange

For the pistachio maple sauce:

2 tbsp nut butter of choice (I used pistachio butter, mmm)

2 tbsp milk

one tsp yoghurt

one tsp maple syrup

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, yoghurt, orange zest and orange juice. Pour the wet into the dry mix and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, slowly stir everything together. Mix until just combined, and there are still small lumps in the batter. Let rest for 5 minutes. Preheat your pan on the stove to medium heat. Hold your hand above the pan to see if it’s hot, and once so, grease with a knob of butter.

Using a quarter-cup measurement or two tablespoons, ladle the batter onto the pan. The large amount of leavening in this recipe means you will see little air bubbles pop up quickly. Once you see a fair bit of bubbles strewn randomly on the surface, go ahead and flip. The other side will take much shorter; around 20 seconds on average.

Let the cooked pancakes rest on a paper towel or in an oven preheated to 160C, if you’re cooking for a few people in the morning. If not, these pancakes freeze and reheat wonderfully. Just cook  a batch, let them cool for 15 minutes, then place in a single layer on a baking tray and pop into the freezer. An hour later, take the pancakes off the tray and put them all into a ziploc bag.

Make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together. Adjust according to taste– for a tangier finish, add more yoghurt, for a sweeter one, add more maple syrup. The stated quantities makes enough for 2, so if there are more, then adjust the ratio. To serve, place a stack of two or three (or more) onto a plate, drizzle on some pistachio maple goodness, and add fresh fruit for textural and flavour contrast.

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