whole wheat pancakes with blood orange butter + thyme maple syrup

If you ever drop by our house mid-morning on a Sunday, you will most likely find us in the kitchen, creating something decadent.  Regardless if I work that evening, I make sure that Sunday is a day for gratitude, enjoyment, celebration, and general relaxation.  I want to savor those feelings and take them with me for the rest of the week.  Why wouldn’t you?

With blood oranges showing up everywhere lately, I was immediately inspired to do something creatively with them last Sunday.  Blood orange butter sounded just about right, paired with thyme-infused maple syrup over whole wheat pancakes.  This brunch spread sounds complicated, but it all took under 45 minutes and was completely worth the effort.

I adapted a recipe for whole wheat pancakes from Fifteen Spatulas and added toasted pecans, a touch of cinnamon, and some delicious vanilla extract, locally crafted by Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes.  I think I ended up eating about five!  No regrets.

Whole Wheat Pancakes – adapted from Fifteen Spatulas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  1 cup buttermilk {or 1 cup milk, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice}
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus a little extra for cooking the ‘cakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Firstly, if you do not have any buttermilk available, combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, stir, and set aside, while you prepare the other ingredients.  Sift the dry ingredients.  Whisk the wet ingredients together.  Combine the two, leaving plenty of lumps.  The lumps give pancakes their fluffiness factor, so don’t whisk them away.  On a hot griddle, melt a little butter and pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter, flipping them over, once their sides are bubbly.  Serve with blood orange slices, thyme maple syrup, and blood orange butter.

Blood Orange Butter – adapted from Food Network

Ingredients:

  • zest from 1 blood orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice {citrus is easier to juice at room temperature and releases the most juice}
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur {I used Leopold Bros. orange liqueur}

Whisk the sugar and butter in a standing mixer, until light and fluffy.  Add the blood orange juice, salt, and orange liqueur, incorporating completely.  You may store the butter in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or freeze the butter for future use.  My boyfriend handed out some of the leftover blood orange butter to friends at work last week.  Many of them ate it directly out of the jar, and several friends suggested spreading it on top blueberry muffins or serving it alongside steamed Dungeness crab.  I think having this on hand will prompt many creative opportunities!

Thyme Maple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quality, grade B maple syrup {why grade B is better}
  • 2 sprigs of fresh, organic thyme
  • pinch of salt

In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, salt, and the fresh thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about five minutes to “steep.”  Strain the sprigs through a chinois or strainer and keep the syrup warm on the stove, until you are ready to serve the pancakes.  Keep any unused syrup in the refrigerator for up to a week and simply heat, when you are ready to make some more pancakes.  We didn’t even have to run to the store for this one!  Despite the recent cold weather, there were several sprigs from our perennial thyme plants in the garden, ready for picking.

What brunch recipes are you enjoying?  Have you been obsessed with all of the readily available citrus?  As I type, I am sipping a jalapeño blood orange margarita, while tangerine and habañero marmalade is cooling in the kitchen.  I think I’m officially infatuated.  If only I lived back in Florida, where I could merely pull over at any given fruit stand and enjoy them as fresh as possible!  Florida friends, you are more than invited to box up some citrus and send it my way!

Jayme Henderson

Occupationally speaking, I am a sommelier and mixologist at a busy, upscale Denver restaurant. I am lucky enough to spend most days tasting, pairing, and creating, alongside my cherished guests. I am also a contributor at the Kitchn, where I write about wine and gardening, tour cooks' kitchens, and interview innovative growers and makers. When I am not wearing those shoes, you can find me in my garden, preserving, painting, designing, and documenting my experiences along the way. I'm currently learning calligraphy and trying my best at home brewing. And I am seriously obsessed with my cats. And rosé.

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8 Comments

  1. Reply

    kd316

    February 20, 2014

    My sweet Eric would love this meal. in fact, I think I might just have to make the butter to go with just about anything! Thank you for the inspiration. And I personally can’t believe I pay for citrus being that its free to us when I lived in Lakeland! 🙂

    • Reply

      jayme marie

      February 20, 2014

      Kim, I miss the days of surplus amounts of citrus in Lakeland! And the butter is pretty much good to have around for anything – I agree! 😉 If you do make the pancakes for Eric, feel free to steep the thyme longer than 3-4 minutes. The orange butter really has a strong personality! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reply

    Angie Baur

    February 20, 2014

    Not only does the meal look delicious, but I’m obsessed with the plate in the second picture. I need that!! I love your kitchen creativity and wish I was your next door neighbor. 😉

    • Reply

      jayme marie

      February 20, 2014

      Thanks, Angie! We are almost neighbors! 😉 The plates are from Pier One and were super cheap. I love the lace-like detail on them.

  3. Reply

    Risty

    February 23, 2014

    Reblogged this on Masakanku and commented:
    LOve this, Rich of inspiration <3

  4. Reply

    stevesteese

    February 24, 2014

    It was one of my most memorable meals this year! Nice work Jayme, the butter was incredible!

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