Pikelets make a delicious, easy breakfast. The thick batter is made by simply stirring together a few basic pantry ingredients, then it needs only minutes to cook. Here they are flavoured with chopped apple and toasted hazelnuts. Top with a little maple syrup and enjoy warm.
⅓ cup (45 g) skinned hazelnuts, chopped
1 ½ cups (210 g) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
1 green apple, cored and finely chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
⅓ cup (80 ml) maple syrup
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Heat a small non-stick frying pan, add the hazelnuts and cook until golden brown, stirring and tossing constantly. Take care not to overcook the nuts as they burn easily. Tip them into a small bowl.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Lightly beat the egg with the buttermilk and pour into the well. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture to make a smooth, thick batter. Add the apple and toasted nuts, then stir in with a large metal spoon.
Heat a large shallow ovenproof dish in a low oven, then turn off the heat and line the dish with a tea towel (this is for keeping the pikelets warm).
Lightly brush a heavy-based frying pan with a little of the oil, then heat over a medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook about four pikelets at the same time. For each one, drop a heaped tablespoon of batter onto the hot surface. Bubbles will rise to the surface and burst. Gently slip a small palette knife or spatula under the pikelet to loosen it, then cook for a further minute or until the underside is golden. Turn the pikelet over and cook the second side for 1–2 minutes or until golden.
Remove the pikelets from the frying pan and keep warm in the warm dish. Cook the rest of the batter in the same way.
When all the pikelets are cooked, quickly heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan just to warm it. Drizzle the syrup over the pikelets or serve in a small jug, then serve immediately.
Some more ideas…
Apricot and walnut pikelets: Use ⅓ cup (45 g) dried apricot halves, chopped, instead of the apple, and ½ cup (60 g) chopped walnuts instead of the hazelnuts.
*Buttermilk is the liquid left over after cream has been turned into butter by churning. Contrary to its name, buttermilk does not contain butterfat, but it does provide protein, minerals and milk sugar or lactose, as well as a delightfully piquant taste. *Apples are a good source of soluble fibre in the form of pectin. Eating apples with their skins offers the maximum amount of fibre. Research has shown that eating apples can also benefit the teeth, as it appears to help to prevent gum disease.