Saturday, after the Passover dinner, my granddaughter agreed to sleepover at our home, which happens lately, ones in a blue moon. Being happy to have her, I was thinking until two o’clock in the morning, what I should make for breakfast? Then it dawned on me that I have an already baked butternut squash in the refrigerator, which I wanted to use for a soufflé, and it will be perfect for pancakes. Here is what I came up with, while she was sleeping, until about noon and it became a brunch instead of breakfast. While I was waiting for Rutty to wake up, the pancakes got cold and I decided to warm them up under the broiler and make a crunchy topping with maple sugar. —Kukla
12 medium size pancakes
• 1 (about 2 pounds or a little more) Butternut Squash
• 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
• 3/4 cup flour or matzo meal
• Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1 tablespoon maple or granulated sugar+ more for the tops
• Large pinches of each, (cinnamon, cardamom, freshly grated nutmeg and ginger or turmeric
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center.
Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill a roasting pan with about 1/2- inch water.
Place squash in pan. Cover with parchment and aluminum foil; bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle.
Using a spoon, scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl; add sugar, some more salt and pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger; add the egg and using a handheld electric mixer or potato masher, mix until smooth and well combined. Sift flour over the top and fold it in with a robber spatula.
Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, scoop spoonfuls of the batter and lay into the skillet, not more then 4 or 5, depending on the size of the skillet.
Fry until first side is golden brown, turn the pancake over and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile preheat the broiler.
When all pancakes are cooked, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle the top of each pancake with about 3/4 teaspoon of maple sugar and place on a rack, 6-inches under the broiler.
Broil until the sugar is melted and is golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, check often, and do not let tops get too dark. Let cool slightly before serving, until a crunchy crust forms. Serve with fresh berries of your choice.