Home Editor Joanna Linberg applied her pancake prowess to these vegan gluten-free, compote-topped hotcakes.
I am a pancake goddess. Ok, maybe that's overstating things, but I've been flipping hotcakes since I was tall enough to reach over the stove. And I grew early. Right now, I'm eating a wheat-free, dairy-free diet, so when I paged through Santa Monica baking guru Zoe Nathan's book, Huckleberry, I thought I was a ringer for an egg dish. Until I saw it—Vegan Gluten-Free Pancakes with Maple Blueberry Compote.
Why this recipe? It took me years to find a decent vegan pancake recipe, and I was ready to compare my standby with something developed by a pro. Plus, maple blueberry compote is my, um, jam.
What was it like to make it? At first, easy. Nathan includes a recipe for a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix that she uses throughout the book, including for these pancakes. I mixed up a big batch of that flour the night before. The next morning, I dumped the blueberries and maple syrup in a saucepan to simmer as I dumped the flour mix, two more flours, two types of seeds, and assorted other dry goods in a bowl. This is definitely not going to be bland, I thought. I heated up my cast iron pan—where all my pancakes get made—and started in.
How did it turn out? The cake started bubbling immediately, and I knew this was going to be good. As soon as I noticed quite a bit of drying around the edges and thorough bubbling, I gently wedged my spatula under for the flip.
Yikes, trouble. The cake, though beautifully browned, was so tender, flipping it was impossible. I thought maybe it was my pan, so I switched to stainless steel and oiled it up. However, I didn't have better luck there, as you can see.
If I could have shaped that pancake into sad face, I would have.
Still! I am the pancake goddess, remember? I poured my remaining batter into a mason jar to try it out with the nonstick pans in our kitchens here at Sunset.
High hopes, people! But still, even on the nonstick pan at the Sunset kitchen, when I went to flip, I had to be achingly gentle. Even so, my cakes turned out more like crepes—thin and rippled. By this time, I had summoned Carol Shih, our digital editor, and Lauren Hoang, our garden design assistant, had been roped in by the amazing smell of pancakes. We stacked the cakes up, poured the compote on top, and dug in. We all agreed: These taste amazing.
Will I make it again? Here's what I won't do: I won't try making pancakes out of this batter. Instead, I'll keep doing what I did later at home: Pour the batter into a (parchment-lined!) pie pan and bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes. Then slice it into wedges and pour the compote over. All the amazing nutty taste and decadent texture, none of the hassle.
One more word about the compote: It is roll your eyes back in your head good. Triple the recipe. Don't argue with me, just do it. You won't regret it.
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE PANCAKES with MAPLE BLUEBERRY COMPOTEmakes about 12 pancakes
"These pancakes are both satisfying and decadent; two qualities that can be hard to come by when you're eating gluten-free and vegan," writes Zoe Nathan. "My family and I eat these often and never feel deprived. Feel free to use different fruits in the compote and substitute homemade Almond Milk for the coconut milk."
1 cup (150 g.) fresh blueberries3 tbsp. maple syrup
BATTER1-1/2 cups (125 g.) Huckleberry Gluten-Free Flour Mix (see below)1/2 cup (20 g.) almond flour1/4 cup (20 g.) cornmeal1-1/2 tsp. baking powder1-1/2 tsp. baking soda2 tbsp. flax seed meal2 tsp. chia seeds or poppy seeds (I used chia seeds)1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/2 tsp. cinnamon2-1/4 cups (540 ml.) coconut milk1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. (150 ml.) canola oil (I used melted coconut oil)1/4 cup (60 ml.) maple syrup1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1. To make the compote: Combine the blueberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the berries start to burst a little. Set aside over low heat.
2. To make the batter: Combine the flour mix, almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, flax seed meal, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
3. Add the coconut milk, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
4. About 5 minutes before you're ready to make the pancakes, preheat a greased griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat; the griddle is ready when a few droplets of water sizzle and dance across the surface.
5. Drop 1/3 cup (80 ml.) of batter onto the hot griddle. When bubbles set on the surface of the pancake and the bottom is golden, flip and cook for about 1 minute longer. Serve immediately, while hot, with a big spoonful of warm compote right on top.
These are best the moment they leave the griddle.
HUCKLEBERRY GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIXMakes 6-1/2 cups/815 g
"If you like to bake gluten-free, whip up a big batch of this mix and keep it on hand," writes Zoe Nathan. "It lasts forever. You can use a store-bought gluten-free flour mix if you must, but your pastry will not taste nearly as good. I cannot stress enough what a difference this mix makes in both flavor and texture. If you don't like the graininess of the cornmeal, you can always omit it and use a little more of the oat flour or potato starch."
2-3/4 cups (430 g.) brown rice flour1-3/4 cups (430 g.) oat flour1-3/4 cups (230 g.) potato starch1/2 cup (90 g.) cornmeal
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended.
This keeps indefinitely at room temperature.