Pancake Tuesdays! Sour Cream Pancakes with Colorful Kohlrabi Slaw

Although it lacks the alliterative genius of Meatless Mondays or Wordless Wednesdays, sandwiched between those two days is what my family has come to call Pancake Tuesdays. Ironically, my drive to make pancakes for dinner tonight came as a result of a Thursday night pancake meal that came so close to winning me over, that I just had to try again with a few tweaks before telling you about it. The next day I was making my meal plan for the week, and tonight seemed like the perfect opportunity.

My first attempt with this recipe for Cinnamon-Applesauce Pancakes surprised me in several ways. First, I made them with L in mind, knowing his affinity for all things cinnamon and apples – yet biting into them, I didn’t really detect these two autumnal flavors at all. Instead, I was hit with Surprise #2: rather than a sweet, cinnamony delight, I was eating darn near the closest thing to From-Scratch Aunt Jemima pancakes as I’ve ever experienced. Now, I’m not calling Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix the Holy Grail of pancakes, but they’re what I grew up with and they will always hold a place in my heart. This sneaky recipe for cinnamon apple-turned-run-of-the-mill pancakes had potential.

During round two, I made a few modifications: first, I went to a light sour cream instead of almond milk. The original recipe calls for buttermilk but I goofed and only had almond on hand, so we went with that instead in Round One (L thought adding sour cream to the batter, which I wanted to do the first time, sounded weird). This produced a much thicker batter that reminded me of a bread dough or even (unsurprisingly) the bread pudding pancakes from last month. I also eliminated the whole eggs in favor of whites, mostly because in decreasing the yield I was left with a recipe that asked for “1/3 egg,” which just screamed egg white substitution to me. I kept the cinnamon-sugar + plain applesauce combo over the cinnamon-applesauce + plain sugar combo originally called for, which was a modification made in Round One as well, thinking the sweetness would be cut slightly and the cinnamon flavors could meander through without being too overwhelming. I also decided on a slightly funky topping: cole slaw (and L thought my cheddar cheese slices last time were weird!). I just thought it’d be a fun way to dinner-ify the dish, detracting just a little bit from the carbfest I was making for myself without being too distracting. It wound up being exactly that – a little citrusy with the slightest ever kick from the kohlrabi, radish and ground pepper – but mostly a clean tasting, crunchy accompaniment to the warm, soft pancakes. Because I didn’t change anything and am already posting a recipe here, check out the original if interested over at The Baking Barrister.

I was surprised by how much of a difference those few (ok, mostly the sour cream) changes made to the finished products! While both were delicious, the second attempt was much more homemade feeling – it strayed from the Aunt Jemima realm of pancakes and into a rustic, heartier round of batter that cooked up into a thick yet pillowy soft pancake. I’d like to try it with the originally called for buttermilk before I make any conclusive statements about whether or not this recipe will be put into my routine arsenal, but it is, by far, the best (standard, non-mix) pancake I have made.

Rustic Sour Cream Pancakes, adapted from Recipes for You
Yield: 3 servings (4 pancakes each, roughly)

The Ingredients
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat sour cream
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons egg white (equivalent of 1 egg)

The Method
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (stop after the salt) and set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients until smooth. Combine the two bowls, stirring only just until combined – some lumps are ok!

Place a scant ¼ cupful of batter onto a preheated (greased if necessary) griddle over medium-low heat and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Holes may not appear on the surface with a batter this thick, so just go with it. Flip once, cooking for another 2-4 minutes until the insides have cooked through.

*I used a homemade version that was heavy on the cinnamon and light on the sugar. If you’re using a pre-bottled variety, either go for a little less and add some cinnamon on your own, or be prepared for a slightly sweeter (not necessary worse!) end product.

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