I have only ever been truly convinced that I was going to die a handful of times in my crazy life, and one of the most vibrant in my memory involves peaches.
It was back in Ohio in late August and my mom and I were preparing peaches to can. It was my task to peel the fruit and not wanting to waste even the tiniest bit of succulence, I got the brilliant idea to eat the peels from a couple of them. I was utterly absorbed in my work and when it was all said and done I had unwittingly eaten the peels from every single one of a bushel of peaches. Aren’t you impressed? When I realized what I had done I dropped the slippery paring knife and looked at my mom in horror. What happens when a person overdoses on peaches? Would I have a sugar rush? Would I be poisoned by peach fuzz?
I am happy to report that other than having a slight stomach disturbance (which was totally worth it, by the way) I was just fine. We canned the skinless peaches, I wrote an overly-corny peach inspired poem and all was well with the world.
Several years later and it’s peach season in Vermont. Driving down Route 7, I can feel my mouth getting excited as I read sign after sign, “Peaches are Here!” “Ripe Peaches” and “Sweet Peaches for Sale”. It’s a wonderful thing how a tree made of wood can take a springtime flower and turn it into something so decadent come August. A peach is nothing short of a round, fuzzy miracle, and I love them so.
I stopped at the local market this week and bought a few large peaches and then turned them into peach pie pancakes, a slight re-imagining of the classic peach pie. Peach pie filling turns into a tasty topping for hearty yet fluffy pancakes made with oat flour and brown sugar, two of the main ingredients in a streusel pie topping. They’re a little more involved than your ordinary ‘every other Monday’ pancake, but very worth it. It’s a good way to spread the peach goodness out as far as possible – without having to eat a bushel of skins!
Peach Pie Pancakes
*makes 8 cakes
For the Pancakes:
1 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 1/4 cups milk
For the Topping:
2 cups thinly sliced fresh peaches
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey (or sweetener of your choice)
The first thing is to make oat flour. This is done by putting the rolled oats into a food processor or a blender and pulverizing them into a coarse powder. 1 cup of rolled oats will yield about 3/4 cup of oat flour. Blend all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then add the milk and oil. Mix together and then add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring thoroughly but gently – over mixing the batter will result in tough pancakes.
Next step is to make the topping. Put the peaches and other ingredients into a small soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir often, this is going to simmer while the pancakes cook.
I fried the cakes over medium-high heat, pouring them out using a 1/3 cup measure. The pancakes are ready to flip when there are bubbles forming in the center of the cake, and the edges appear to be dry . They will need to cook about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the heat under them.
When the cakes are all cooked up, the topping should be done! I love it when a meal comes together. Serve these with a tall glass of milk and you have a breakfast (or brunch or dinner!) worthy of the fruit that inspired it.