I blame pumpkin pie.
Until last year, I loathed pumpkin. Detested, abhorred – if pumpkin died, I would have danced gleefully on the grave, laughing.
The baby food texture of pumpkin pie, the overbaked flavor, the monochromatic look, the ubiquitousness on Thanksgiving tables, often muscling delicious apple and bourbon pecan right out of the picture.
As far as I was concerned, pumpkins were for carving. Also, the twisted appeal of watching them gradually wither, shrivel, curling inward towards themselves in a crush of architectural loss and decomposition. And occasionally smashing. Smashing a decomposing pumpkin is fun. Only your own, kids. Let’s keep it on the up and up. Pumpkins were not for eating. Not pie, not seeds, and not your contrived latte, Starbucks, thanks so much.
Then, on a deceptively inauspicious day, I met pumpkin bread pudding. It would be overstating it to say that it changed my life. But only a wee bit. Because now, I cannot get enough pumpkin.
I still do not like pumpkin pie, for the same reasons I didn’t. But pumpkin muffins? Pumpkin scones? Pumpkin bread? Oh, yes, yes, yes. I’m now a woman obsessed. When October came charging rudely in yesterday, pushing poor extended September to the back of the year with a thumping shove, I thought, “Pumpkin. Pumpkin will console me.” Cream cheese was just a bonus.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pancakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 egg, separated
Cream cheese mixture:
1 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
Whisk together first six ingredients. Whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, half and half, vanilla, butter, and egg yolk. Whip egg white to soft peak. Combine flour mixture with pumpkin mixture. Fold in egg whites.
Preheat skillet to medium- low. Combine cream cheese filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Add a pat of butter to the pan, and when it’s foaming, pour pancakes on (I use a cupcake scoop for this). Add a dollop of cream cheese mixture to each pancake. When the pancakes starts to form bubbles, takes about 1 -2 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until set.
Serve with maple syrup – I like Highland Sugarworks Grade A Dark Amber.