Pineapple Pancake Redux

Pineapple Pancakes

About four years ago, I tried a recipe that I found on Pinterest and it totally failed. I was disappointed but still determined to make something that sounded like pineapple upside-down cake, but in pancake form. After a few tweaks, I fixed what I found wasn’t right and posted it. It was one of the most popular things that I’ve ever done, though my food photography wasn’t very exciting back then. That’s the reason for a redux. In four years time, I also found another tweak that makes it even easier. Life is good!

My husband is a true pancake man, and that is how I became interested in this recipe in the first place. Living in Hawai‘i, pineapples are kind of a no-brainer to incorporate into a lot of recipes, so it only makes sense that I should work on making this a good, workable thing. There is really only one extra step to making these pancakes from any other, and that is in the preparation of the pineapple that is added, and that has been simplified. Are you ready? So here we go…

Pineapple Pancakes

You’ll need:

  • 1 nice, sweet-smelling pineapple (that means it’s ripe!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (or 1½ cups) milk or buttermilk*
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil works great, too)
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour (I highly recommend King Arthur All Purpose Flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, honey or other sweetener (I used honey)
  • You will also need about 1 tablespoon of butter to cook the pineapple rings in.

*If it’s humid, or if the batter will be resting for more than 5 minutes, use 1 cup of milk. Use 1½ cups in colder, drier conditions. Pancake batter is just funny like that.

Pre-heat the oven to 400º F.

Prepare a baking sheet by covering with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and spraying with cooking spray.

While the oven is heating, chop off both ends of the pineapple and trim the outer skin off with a knife. Make sure that all of the rough little ‘eyes’ are completely cut out of the pineapple, because they’re just not that good for you, and they are really annoying if you bite into one anyway. Cut it crosswise into thin slices, about 1/8″ thick. Cut a circle around the core and remove. You’ll need 1 ring for each pancake, so cut as many as you’ll need pancakes.

Preparing the pineapple to this point can be done a day ahead. Just put the slices into an airtight container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Place the prepared baking sheet into the oven for 5 minutes while it’s heating, then pull it out and place about 1 tablespoon of butter onto the foil. Get your oven mitts on and move the hot sheet around while it melts  so the butter coats the foil.

Place the pineapple rings onto the buttered sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Flip the rings over and bake until both sides are golden.

While the pineapple is in the oven, prepare the batter. You can have the dry ingredients measured ahead of time to make things easier, too… one or two less things to do on a Sunday morning is a good thing!

Remove the pineapple from oven and set aside on a plate when done. Turn the oven down to 200º to keep the pancakes warm while waiting to be served.

Prepare the wet ingredients separately (beat eggs, milk and oil together) and the dry (blend flour, salt, sweetener and baking powder) then mix them together quickly and just until they are blended—a few lumps are fine. Over-mixing can make for tough pancakes. Allow the batter to rest for about 5 minutes, but not much more than that.

On the stove, prepare a large frying pan or griddle by spraying with cooking spray and coating with about a tablespoon of oil. Heat the pan to medium high heat.

Once batter has rested long enough, use a small measuring cup to pour batter into the hot pan or griddle. A 1/3 cup is a good size for scooping and pouring, and the rings fit nicely onto the pancake. It’s wise for the first pancake to be a ‘test’—it usually doesn’t come out so well, and from there you can adjust temperature. I forgo the pineapple for the test.

Place a pineapple ring in the center of the pancake. If you like, you can put a banana slice in the hole of the pineapple ring. Once pancakes are done on one side (dry around the edges and bubbles on top) flip pancake and finish cooking—they’ll only need a minute or two more. Put cooked pancakes on an ovenproof platter to keep warm, until it’s time to serve.

Serve with butter, (if you’re feeling indulgent) warmed maple syrup, top with more fruit or whatever you like.

Makes about 12 pancakes.

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