Blogger and author Mimi Thorisson has a new cookbook out that will kindle a delicious love affair with the cuisine of the French countryside. Starring the best-quality ingredients sourced from small outdoor markets, family-owned purveyors and home gardens, this collection of recipes elevates a simple, humble cuisine to the highest level. These butternut pancakes with sage brown butter are an inventive way to enjoy a seasonal treat.
We don’t grow our own yet, but in autumn we tend to build up a small collection of pumpkins and squash in various shapes and sizes. We decorate our tables with them, and for a few weeks it seems we are drowning in pumpkins. Then, as the season progresses, we start cutting them up one by one; many end up in soups, while others get roasted as a side dish. The really lucky ones end up in delicious little creations like these pancakes that are so simple to make, yet feel quite decadent and “grown-up” when drenched in sage and butter sauce. The words “light” and “rich” seem contradictory, but they are the ones I would pick to describe these pancakes.
Note: To make the puree, peel, seed, and cube about half a medium butternut squash, then roast it in a preheated 350°F oven until very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree using a potato ricer or food processor, or mash by hand.
- 1 1/3 cups butternut squash purée (see note)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- fine sea salt
- 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the skillet
- A small bunch fresh sage leaves
For the pancakes
In a bowl, mix the butternut puree, egg, and crème fraîche. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the Parmesan (if using), flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt until you get a smooth batter.
Lightly butter a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan and set over medium heat. Using about half of the batter, drop 4 or 5 pancakes into the pan. Let them cook until the bubbles on the surface start to pop and the undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute, then flip them over. Cook just to set the other side, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining batter.
In a small saucepan, heat the 5½ tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and the sage leaves and cook until the butter turns golden brown and the sage leaves are crisp, a few minutes.
Serve the pancakes with a drizzle of the browned butter and sage leaves on top.