In Italy, where I live, chestnut flower is widely used for desserts. I make these pancakes (or sometimes I make the same batter and make Crêpes with it) and use half all purpose flour, half chestnut flour, which makes the pancakes very light because it doesn't contain gluten. Chestnut flour gives a nutty flavour to desserts which I really like. When I make these pancakes I serve 3 per person stacked on top of each other with plain unsweetened white yoghurt and blueberry syrup in between layers and on top. But depending on the season you can change the fruit, the choice is endless. —Maria Teresa Jorge
- Serves 6
all purpose flour - sifted
butter - melted and warm
white plain full yoghurt - to serve
butter for cooking pancakes
icing sugar for decoration
fresh blueberries for decoration
mint leaves fresh for decoration
- Blueberry Syrup
fresh lemon juice
- Cut the butter in small pieces and melt over very low heat just until it's almost melted. Remove from the heat and stir to finish melting. Let stand until needed.
- In a large bowl sift the flour with the baking powder. Add the chestnut flour and whisk vigorously to mix and aerate very well all the dry ingredients.
- Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the 2 pinches of salt to stiff peaks.
- Combine the egg yolks, the buttermilk and the melted butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined. Using a spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until just combined.
- Cover the bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200º F (really low just to keep the pancakes warm as you cook them). Put a serving plate inside to warm it up.
- In a pan add the water and the sugar, dissolve over medium low heat. Add the blueberries and bring to a simmer. Mix and let the blueberries cook in the sugar and water, they will open and the syrup will become all dark blue. When the syrup has reached a nice medium thick consistency, about 5 minutes total, remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and set aside.
- Heat a non stick pan and add a teaspoon of butter. Let melt and add 1/4 cup of batter on the hot surface to form a circle. Cook over medium heat until the top is set, about 2 minutes. With a spatula flip the pancake and continue cooking until golden, about 1 more minute.
- Transfer to a large serving plate and keep warm while cooking the remaining pancakes.
- Clean the pan with kitchen paper and add another teaspoon of butter for each pancake. You will need 18 pancakes.
- Serve 3 pancakes stacked per person adding between each layer plain yoghurt and 1 tablespoon of blueberry syrup, On top of the last pancake, add a big dollop of youghurt and 2 tablespoons of bluberry syrup and dust with icing sugar. Decorate with 2 fresh mint leaves.
- Note 1: I made my own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of freshly juiced lemon to each cup of full milk. I left it for 20 minutes and had an amazing velvety buttermilk.
- Note 2: In Italy I find chestnut flour in every supermarket, but I have seen it in the Unites States in Wholefoods, on the web and in Italian food shops. Chestnut flower does not have gluten so it makes the pancakes lighter, the result being very similar to that of adding rice flower or potato starch.