Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Fruity Flash in the Pan!

Torta Semplice e Soffice in Padella con Pera, Mirtilli & Cannella
Simple Fluffy Pancake with Pear, Cranberry & Cinnamon


Sunday morning, time for breakfast and time for pancakes again- yay! And what could be yummier than that? Well... maybe one BIG pancake, to save you standing at the stove, doing all that frying... and just the the fun of trying something different once in a while!

It was also the perfect way to make good use of the last 3 eggs I had in the fridge and the gigantic pear that I still hadn't got around to eating! Haha!

The name pancake suggests a little cake, "baked" in the frying pan... but sometimes it is nice to make what would normally be a few little cakes, make them into one larger cake, and finish it off by actually baking it in the oven... like this!

3 eggs, 1 large (or 2 small) pear(s), 1-2 tablespoons of cranberry preserves, 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, a half teaspoon of baking soda and a half cup of milk is all you will need... and awaaay you go!


This is a supper fluffy and light affair- perfect for breakfast or even an afternoon tea... or in my case today- both!

As usual, my little creation here uses a whole lot less fat or sugar and relies on the flavors of the ingredients to really shine... and it does!


Start off by turning on your oven to get it hot and ready and peel and dice that pear (or pears)...


In a frying pan, heat the diced pears through for 3-4 minutes, with plenty of cinnamon. Hold back on the sugar and taste the pears first before adding any- sometimes, as in this case, where the pear was well-ripened, there is more sweetness in the fruit itself than you may expect. I only added a teaspoon to mine... but I will leave that decision up to you! I am generous that way! Haha!


Next, whisk up the egg whites with a pinch of salt to help them say nice and firm and whisk together the 3 yolks with the flour, milk, baking powder and a little vanilla essence. I added a tablespoon of Stevia to mine for sweetening- I like to keep sugar to a minimum wherever possible, as I like to try to make recipes that would be more suitable for diabetics as I have family members that would benefit from that. So it is a personal choice for me- feel free to add sugar or honey to yours- I would say that 1-2 tablespoons would be more than enough though!


Pour the simple batter into the egg-whites and fold them both together- be gentle, but not excessively so- you do want to have a nice blend!


When your batter is nice and fluffy-looking like this... you are ready to go!


Gently rub your frying pan with a little butter and then add half of the batter. Smooth it out a little, let is cook on the stove top for 3-4 minutes, so that the base begins to get nice and firm and then pop it into the oven, at 180°C to bake for 3-4 minutes, so that the top begins to get firm too. Why? All will be revealed in the next picture!


The reason to let the base bake a little in the oven, is obviously so that when you now carefully spoon the pears on top, that they will not sink right down to the bottom, as they would have if you had dropped them straight into the batter. Make sure to drain the pears thoroughly before adding them too- there will be a lot of juice there! Add a few cranberry preserves here and there, but don't overdo it- you do not want to have that much filling that the cake becomes soggy.

Pop back into the oven for a couple of minutes, just to get the top surface beginning to dry again and then remove one last time to add the remaining batter on top and to cover the whole thing completely.


Continue baking for 15-20 minutes or so at 180°C until the cake is golden and brown... let it sit and rest for 4-5 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar and serving... if you can resist temptation for that long, that is!

Lots of fluffiness, just enough sweetness, juicy fruit and a light sugar coating- that's the way I like it! I hope that maybe you do too!


Looks a little bit lonely, doesn't it? That's why I had a second piece as soon as this one had disappeared!


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