Pumpkin?! But aren’t we past the pumpkin holi-daze? Not if you are a frugal foodie! With pumpkin pies and holiday baking behind us, those cans of pumpkin, cranberry sauce, and specialty pie spices are all on discount! Nearly every grocery store overstocks these seasonal items, so the blowouts must ensue. The prices will get cheaper as the weeks go on, and they become more desperate, so feel free to jump in when it hits your target price. After the holidays last year, I picked up numerous cans of organic pumpkin and sweet potato for less than $1 a piece at Wild Oats (now Whole Foods) and full-size jars of pumpkin pie spice for just $.25! And trust me, that nice little blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves is useful well beyond the traditional pie.
So for you pumpkin lovers out there, the season may have just begun. My husband is not as big of a pumpkin fan as I, so I waited for this lazy Sunday morning when he was out to indulge myself in some pumpkin pancakes. Since this recipe makes a full batch for 4, I decided to make up one generous serving as pancakes, and prepared the rest as waffles, which I flash froze to toast up on those mornings when I am in a hurry. There is no secret behind the waffles, I used the same batter and simply heated up the waffle iron while I was enjoying my breakfast!
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart and We are not Martha.This recipe is dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and can be made gluten-free with your favorite gf flour blend. For a vegan / egg-free version, use a powdered egg replacer, such as Ener-G, or I spotted a successful suggestion to use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in place of the egg, adding liquid only if needed to reach the right consistency (which should still be a bit thick).
1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose or Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour*
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (or you can use 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, plus an optional pinch of cloves)
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, firmly packed
Generous 1/3 Cup to 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree**
2 Tablespoons Oil (I used grapeseed)
1 Large Egg
1 Cup Vanilla Milk Alternative (almond, rice, soy, your choice) or 1 Cup Plain Milk Alternative plus 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Into a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, oil, and egg until homogenous. Stir in the milk alternative, followed by the flour mixture. Stir until just combined; no need to overmix, a few lumps are okay. Set that aside and heat a wee bit of oil in a skillet over medium or medium-low heat (depending on how finicky your stove is). Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the skillet and cook for roughly 3 minutes per side, give or take. The tops of the pancake will have bubbles breaking at the surface when it is time for that first flip.
Serve topped with leftover cranberry sauce (as I did), pumpkin butter (as they did at We are not Martha), or the traditional maple syrup.
*Flour Notes: For the lightest, fluffiest, cheapest pancakes, use all-purpose flour. I use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose in my baking for a touch of heartiness. It is a bit lighter than whole wheat flour, but a bit denser than all-purpose. You can find it from King Arthur or Arrowhead Mills in the baking aisle, and sometimes in bulk (though I typically find that bulk is actually more expensive per pound for this product). If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour but want to add some fiber, you can replace up to 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with regular whole wheat flour. If you opt to use all whole wheat flour or another dense flour such as spelt, expect a thicker, denser pancake. When craving hearty, I prefer to make the super-quick pumpkin version of the Oatmeal Blender Waffles in Go Dairy Free.
**Pumpkin Notes: I used 1/2 cup of pumpkin to get at least a little more of that pumpkin flavor, but it does weight the pancakes down just a bit, making them more on the moist side than fluffy. A generous 1/3 cup will yield puffier results, but the pumpkin flavor will be very, very mild.