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Archive for apple picking

Pancakes in the Time of Pumpkins

by Nancy Hinchliff: Innkeeper/freelance writer

Fall is a great time to visit Louisville and stay in one of our wonderful bed and breakfasts. The weather is near perfect, sun shiny days but not too hot. The outdoor festivals are in full swing, and trips to the countryside to view the turning leaves, taste the fall wine, snd visit the beautiful working farms to pick up pumpkins for Hallowe’en and delicious apples is relaxing and fun.

Most of our Inns feature wonderful fall selections for breakfast like Pumpkin Pancakes, baked German Apple Pancakes, and fresh melon. You will not be disappointed. I have included a guest post from another blogger here and a couple of delicious recipes.

guest post by Teresa Rice

We are living in the time of pumpkins. Great boxes are filled with them at the local farm market–gone now to jack o’ lanterns, many of them and unceremoniously tossed out after their night of drama.

Some go on to be cooked and used now or saved for special holiday recipes. Many will go into pies, the iconic Thanksgiving dessert. Some will go to lovely warming soups or pumpkin bread or muffins. A few will go inmore exotic culinary directions. And don’t get me started on the squashes–so many varieties, from mirlitons to sweet dumplings, butternuts to buttercups.

I’m tempted and bewildered by my imagination as my table, loaded down with all manner of squash and pumpkin can testify. What to make and write about? Pumpkin ravioli–buttery, tender and delicious? Or a butternut soup, fragrant with saffron and rich with cream and ghee? I ponder long over a delicate pumpkin roulade, filled with sweetened mascapone. Then I think about swiss chard wrapped around sausage, pumpkin and barley mixture, or mirlitons filled with highly seasoned shrimp stuffing.

These, along with pies and cakes, muffins and breads, will be welcomed in my home as we travel the calendar into the holidays, to the winter solstice and on to a new year. But one special dish–an ultimate comfort food–comes first.

PUMPKINS AND PANCAKES

Saturday mornings were hotcake eating time at our house, also at my grandma’s. Mamma would get out her round twelve-inch griddle and she’d let me skitter water drops across the surface to test the heat. Then she’d ladle out five or six little hotcakes at a time. When bubbles formed and just began to pop the spatula would swoop down and flip them, splat splat splat. I’d watch their cooked tops rise up when the raw side hit the hot griddle. They’d hesitate, then sigh and lower themselves to the pan to finish cooking.

We’d gather around the table like baby birds, waiting our turns. Hot stacks piled onto our plates as they got done, never one by one, so you’d have enough to pile together with butter pats. We buttered them up and ate them down with Steen’s Cane Syrup–thick, dark and smoky flavored–or a lighter syrup my mother made with maple extract added to simple syrup.

The ettiquete was to use your knife to cut the stack into eight triangular wedges and load as much as you could get onto your fork. The fork became a mop and the hotcakes became hot, tender butter-and-syrup delivery devices. Wow.

Mamma’s hotcakes were always pristine and plain. No blueberries or pecans, no bananas or walnuts. But I remember my grandma making us pink and blue and green hotcakes at Eastertime. They didn’t taste any different, but they were crazy fun.

The pumpkin was not a familiar part of our lives and certainly didn’t find its way onto our table for hotcake mornings. The Louisiana yam filled its place in pies and cakes and anywhere else a pumpkin might be. They must have been somewhat available, though. On the road between Baton Rouge and Hammond a little sign indicated the turn off to Pumpkin Center, Louisiana–pronounced “punkin.” The sign actually gave the turn for Baptist, Louisiana and then Pumpkin Center so it looked like all the Baptist pumpkins must gather at the Baptist Pumpkin Center to do who knew what. This was a hilarious joke at the time and still makes me smile.

RECIPES

I would have found these incredibly exotic in my childhood, even as I do today. They are the deep old gold of spectacular winter sunsets. Spice aromas capture you the minute you begin to mix the batter and the hot griddle instantly careens the smell throughout the house. No one will sleep through breakfast when you make these. I find I close my eyes and breathe these long before I get to taste them. Once I finally get a butter-drenched pumpkin-butter-slathered bite, my tastebuds rise up to meet the flavors on a cloud of weightlessness.

Many recipes for pumpkin pancakes are dense and heavy from the added pulp. Leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda are too wan to carry pumpkin up to the lightness a pancake deserves. The secret is to beat the egg whites and delicately fold them in to assist with the rise. This batter, as a matter of fact, is very similar to an airy roulade recipe, frothy and tender. The pancakes must be baked quickly or the egg white advantage deflates. The optional sprinkle of pumpkin seeds gives a satisfying counterpoint. If you’re not fond of pumpkin seeds, try my favorite chopped and toasted pecans, which is not to say that they aren’t perfect without nuts of any kind.

The pumpkin butter–oh lordy, what can I say? A touch of rum for breakfast? Let the good times roll, dawlin’. I prefer a thick spread, particularly for my pancakes, but adjust the liquid to suit yourself once the cooking is done.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

•1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

3 large eggs, separated, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil, butter or non-stick spray for the griddle

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, optional

Instructions

Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend; whisk in melted butter. Sift flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and whisk to combine. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Lightly oil or butter heavy large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto skillet. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each pancake and cook until bubbles form on top, about one-and-a half minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until second sides brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve with Rum Pumpkin Butter and maple syrup.

Rum Pumpkin Butter

1 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/2 cup orange juice or apple cider

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dark rum, optional

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 – 20 minutes or until blended, stirring frequently. Add more orange juice or cider if mixture is too thick.

All text and images copyright 2010 Theresa Rice

What to Do in and around Louisville this Fall

The next three or four posts will all be part of a series of things to do in and around Louisville during the months of September and October. All of my suggestions center on fun day trips to sites within an hour or so from Louisville so that booking accommodations in one of our Louisville Bed and Breakfasts is the best option. Our Inns are comfortable, reasonable, and you will be sure to have a wonderful breakfast. Check out the Inn of your choice and call for reservations. (Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper/free lance writer)

Wine Tasting and Apple Picking

Wine tasting

Broad Run is a local Winery and vineyards conveniently located in Louisville at 10601 Broad Run Rd. An estate winery, Broad Run is a classic Old World family winery and planter of European vinafera vines that yield high quality grapes resulting in the finest of balanced wines. A trip to their 25 acres of beautiful vineyards where you will can taste a variety of wines from Cabernet Savignon, Chardonnay, Riesling to Pinot Noir, Carmine, Chambourcin, and Muscat will satisfy even the most meticulous wine taster. Join their open table wine tastings where you meet interesting and fun-loving people and be introduced to the lovely wines of Kentucky!

Originally the winery remained on the original homesite and the tasting room was housed in the old farm house on the new property. In 2003, construction of the new 8000 square foot winery and tasting house was completed.

Winery Hours

  • Wednesday thru Saturday from 12pm ~ 6pm
  • Sundays from 1pm-6pm
  • Open table wine tastings

Call for wine tasting reservations and directions: 502-231-0372 .

Apple picking and Winery

Just over the bridge from Louisville is Indiana. If you drive around 40 minutes to the west and a little north you’ll be in the Vicinity of the Family Huber Farms and winery; 600 acres of orchards & vineyards where you can pick your own vegetables from the fields of the largest farm in Southern Indiana.

 

Huber’s Farm and Wineries

Have you ever gone apple picking at a real topnotch apple orchard? If not, you’ll be amazed at how much fun it is, with or without the kids…..not to mention the delight of eating just ripened apples right off the tree. I did it several years ago with my grand kids and had as much fun as they did. It was a day I will always remember.

Once we reached the orchards, Farmer Joe loaded the four of us into the back of an old wooden dump truck and drove us around a bit through the trees, kids squeeling the whole way. When we stopped and jumped out, we were handed baskets to plop our precious finds into. We proceeded to grab at the low lying branches pulling off the sweet smelling fruit and dropping it into our baskets, which got heavier with time and laughter……The laughter is still ringing in my ears.

If you’ld like to try it yourself, I highly recommend it. Call Huber’s Apple Orchards reservations and directions. They also have restaurant with delicious country stye dishes, a winery, a market, an animal farm.
Best dates for picking specific kinds of apples:
Early september: Golden and Red Delicious, Jonathon Gold, and Mutzu.
Late September: Winesap
Early and mid October: Granny Smith, Fuji, and Goldrush

For information on the Huber wineries, go to: Huber Orchard and WineryStarlight, IN

There are many other wineries near Louisville. You can check them out by clicking on any of the following links:

Wineries / Vineyards Near Louisville, KY

Best Vineyards WineryElizabeth, IN
Broad Run VineyardsLouisville, KY
Brooks Hill WineryBrooks, KY
Chateau de Pique – ClarksvilleClarksville, IN
Felice VineyardsLouisville, KY
Huber Orchard and WineryStarlight, IN
Indian Creek WineryGeorgetown, IN
MillaNova WineryMt. Washington, KY
River Bend WineryLouisville, KY
River City WineryNew Albany, IN

*Next post: Outdoor festivals