We’re here with a twist on the traditional pancake recipe with an Indian pancake recipe from Anjum Anand, the founder of The Spice Tailor, photography by Francesca White.
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Hot sticky pineapple, crisp pancakes, cold cream and a hint of spice. Lovely. These are inspired by a very typical Indian dessert pancake, made in the cold months, that is deep-fried, then glazed in a sugar syrup and eaten with sweetened thickened milk. This is my quicker and easier version and works beautifully. Unfortunately the pancakes cannot be made in advance, but they don’t take long to cook (the batter can be ready to go) and it all comes together quite quickly.
For the pineapple
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 x 1cm pineapple rings, skin, eyes and core removed (I sometimes slice these in half, and a bit of imperfection is a good here)
6 star anise
2–3 small knobs of unsalted butter
150g crème fraîche
3 tbsp desiccated coconut, lightly toasted until golden
For the crispy Pancakes
70g plain flour, sifted
55g caster sugar
1 brown cardamom pod, seeds pounded in a mortar and pestle (or a pinch of ground cardamom)
pinch of salt
2 tbsp ground almonds
30g unsalted butter, melted
100–120ml whole milk
4 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil, for frying
Enough for 6, can be doubled
Place the sugar in a large frying pan and allow to melt and caramelise until golden. Add 4 tbsp of boiling water; it will bubble and seize but keep stirring and the caramel will melt back in. Add the pineapple and star anise and cook over a moderate flame, turning the pineapple in the caramel often and moving around the pan if there are obvious hot spots. Once the fruit is lightly golden and glazed, which takes four to five minutes, add two small knobs of butter and shake them in. You can add a spoon of hot water at any time if the caramel looks like it is becoming too dark. Keep cooking the pineapple, turning in the sticky caramel, until the rings have a lovely golden colour and are well glazed. Set aside. These can be made in advance and reheated when you are ready to eat, I add the extra knob of butter as I do so.
Make the pancakes. Mix together the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and ground almonds. Add the butter and milk and whisk until homogenous, it should have the consistency of thick cream.
Heat half the ghee in a large non-stick frying pan until quite hot and drop around 1½–2 tbsp of batter in for each pancake. You should be able to make three at a time, each about 10cm in diameter (help them spread with a spoon). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until golden on both sides and slightly darker around the edges, a matter of one or two minutes. Lift out with a slotted spatula and place on kitchen paper. Repeat with the second batch.
Place a pancake on each plate and cover with the shards of pineapple.
Top with a spoon of crème fraîche and a star anise from the pan and sprinkle over the toasted coconut. Serve immediately, drizzling with any of the pineapple, caramelly juices from the pan.