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Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, I try really hard to make something exciting for breakfast since I am not pressed for time. I also try to make something that uses ingredients that I already have on hand to avoid visiting the market early in the morning. So, I looked in my fridge today and saw that I had some leftover canned pineapple from the Barbeque Chicken Pineapple Pizza that we made on our pizza night earlier in the week. I searched for some recipes that involved pineapple and didn't come across much that involved other ingredients I had on hand. Then I thought, what about pineapple in pancakes? This could be interesting. I did a quick search and found exactly what I was looking for .. Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes from The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes. It was definitely the picture that sold me on trying out this recipe. As I continued to look over the recipe, I realized that I didn't have all of the ingredients, so I substituted soy milk for the coconut milk and added about a tablespoon of coconut powder to the batter to allow for the coconut flavoring. I also substituted crushed walnuts for the madedamia nuts. I left out the coconut and rum flavorings as well. While the pancakes were cooking, it took a few rounds to get the pancakes to cook thoroughly with the thick slice of pineapple in the center. Once they were finished I removed from the pan, drizzled them with a maple syrup, brown sugar sauce and garnished them with toasted walnuts and powdered sugar. They were excellent and tasted very similar to my mother's pineapple upside down cake. Voila! Another success in the kitchen!
Vegan Pineapple Upside-down Pancakes
Recipe from The Blooming Platter by Betty DiJulio
Makes 6 pancakes
6-1/4" thick slices of fresh pineapple, trimmed, cored, and drained well between several layers of paper towel
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
optional: 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk (use the real thing, not "lite")
optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons maple syrup
optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon rum extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons toasted and chopped macadamia nuts (toast nuts whole in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden--watch carefully--cool and chop coarse-fine)
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and optional brown sugar. Slowly stir the coconut milk and optional coconut extract into the dry ingredients. Stir or whisk until well combined.
2. In a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt one-half tablespoon of butter and swirl to cover the bottom. (Use more butter if skillet ever appears dry.)
3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, make two pancakes spreading each one ever so slightly just to flatten tops.
4. Place one pineapple ring on top of each pancake and press gently to nestle them into the batter, allowing the batter to rise around the edges and squeeze up through the holes of the pineapple rings.
5. Cook two-three minutes on the first side or until a few bubbles appear and batter begins to appear set.
6. Sprinkle pineapple slices with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar each, gently patting into the surface. 7. Gently flip pancakes and cook another couple of minutes on the reverse. If pancakes are cooking too quickly, lower heat to medium.
8. When cooked through, remove pancakes to plates or a serving platter, pineapple side up, and keep warm while you repeat two more times with remaining butter, pancake batter, pineapple slices and brown sugar.
9. To make the syrup, add brown sugar and water to whatever butter remains in the skillet. Stir to dissolve sugar and then stir in syrup. Cook gently, stirring frequently, for a minute or so until syrup thickens slightly. Add rum extract if desired. Pour over pancakes, sift powdered sugar around edges of pancakes so as not to conceal pineapple rings, and sprinkle nuts in the center holes. Serve warm.

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