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Buttermilk pancakes with figs, orange sauce and vanilla mascarpone

Alana Lowes
Friday, March 2, 2012
Buttermilk pancakes with figs, orange sauce and vanilla mascarpone

Ssshh don’t tell anyone, but I am involved in a fig love affair. Its season is short and passionate bursting with fruit. I don’t remember the day the affair actually started but I can vividly recall each and every dish I have eaten with figs – figs and blue cheese, figs and prosciutto, stuffed dried Turkish figs, figs and quail, fig salad with rocket, fig and walnut ice-cream and fig jam...sweet or savoury, the plump little fig can fulfil whatever you heart desires!

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Figs are only available from late summer to mid autumn. When choosing your figs, select clean, dry fruit with little blemishes. To check for ripeness, give them a little squeeze and they should give a little. Ripe figs are very delicate, so be gentle and only keep in the fridge for a couple of days - so the moral to this story is to consume the delicious gems as soon as possible. If you purchase unripe figs, they will ripen at room temperature over a couple of days.

If you prefer to use dried figs, I have a sticky and sweet recipe of walnut stuff figs in syrup on my website.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cook Time: 2-5 mins each

Orange Sauce

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cinnamon quill
Zest of 1 orange

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
Zest of 1 orange
50 gm butter

Vanilla Mascarpone

200gm mascarpone
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, scraped and seeds reserved or 1 tsp vanilla paste

To serve, 4 figs, sliced and extra orange zest (optional)

Method

To make the orange sauce, place all ingredients into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is reduced by ⅓ to a syrup consistency. Strain through a sieve and set aside until needed.

To make the vanilla mascarpone, place all ingredients into a bowl and beat until combined. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

To make the buttermilk pancakes, sift the flour, bi-carbonate of soda and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Place the buttermilk into a small jug and whisk in the egg along with the orange zest.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and as you slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture, gently whisk the ingredients until they are completely combined and the pancake batter is smooth.

To cook the pancakes, place a frypan over a medium heat and lightly grease with the butter. Using a 1/3 cup measuring spoon, drop the pancake batter onto the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the underside is cooked and golden. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. The pancakes will puff up and become thick and fluffy when cooked. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.

To serve, place a pancake on the plate and top with the fresh figs, mascarpone and drizzle with the orange sauce. Sprinkle with extra orange zest if desired.

Enjoy!

Handy Hint: Bi-carbonate of soda is a leavening agent and when added to a batter is creates bubbles and when cooked they expand and “rise”. Bi-carbonate of Soda requires an acidic ingredient to activate the “rise” such as buttermilk, lemon juice and vinegar.

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