I was an early fan of Martha Stewart and her various projects; I flatter myself to think I got in on the ground floor, back when her haircut was more housewife than inside trader. Many years ago, however, we parted ways. There was just too much Martha everywhere. More importantly, I found her recipes to have a poor effort-to-taste ratio and then there was the heavy emphasis on animal products (how could she not when she names her paint colors after the hues of her chickens’ eggs?). Having said all that, I retain a residual fondness for Martha. Her energy, ambition, success, creativity and houses are awe-inspiring. Recently I ran across a pancake recipe in an issue of MSL magazine – I believe the originals debuted at her birthday bash held at her Skylands estate – and made a mental note to make them. It was the inclusion of nectarines that got me. They are the taste of summer and my absolute favorite fruit.
The batter is my standard whole wheat one with the addition of a little spice. A super simple syrup goes very well with these nutty, fruity, fluffy cakes.
Whole Wheat Nectarine Pancakes with Easy Coconut Maple Syrup
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
dash powdered stevia, optional
2 tbsp. wheat germ
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
dash kosher salt
1 1/2 cups “buttermilk”
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp. water (whisk together until frothy, then set aside to thicken)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 thinly sliced nectarines (use fruit that is slightly firm, not too ripe)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2-1 tsp. coconut oil
toasted, chopped pecans, for sprinkling on top of the ‘cakes
In a small saucepan, gently warm the maple syrup and coconut oil. Keep warm until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, stevia, wheat germ, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the “buttermilk,” flaxseed meal mixture and vanilla extract. Stir into the dry mixture and whisk just until everything is moistened and there are no large lumps. Let sit for about 15 minutes while you heat up the griddle and pop your plates in a 200F oven to warm.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the nectarines. Set aside.
Drop batter by big spoonfuls onto a hot, lightly oiled griddle or pan. Gently press slices of nectarine onto the tops of the ‘cakes. Wait for the batter to start to bubble before turning. When flipping the pancakes, lightly spritz the griddle with oil again otherwise the fruit will stick as it caramelizes. Keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven until ready to serve.
(A little orange juice or orange zest would be a wonderful addition to the batter. These are also delicious using fresh figs, as shown below.)