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Arabian Pancakes With Orange-Flower Syrup

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

Don't think breakfast pancakes, but rather a dreamy, light, aromatic and sweet pudding, slicked with orange-flower syrup and nubbled with pistachios, to go after a vaguely Middle-Eastern dinner eaten languorously outside in the garden on a warm summer evening.

The syrup itself can be made in advance and just stored in a jar in the fridge, just as long as you remember to get it back to room temperature before you pour it over the cardamom-scented pancakes.

And you don't have to get busy at the stove at the very end of dinner to make the pancakes. Just cook them before you sit down at table, place them on a large baking sheet or ovenproof plate, tent with foil and keep them warm in a low oven (preheated to 120ºC/gas mark ½) until you want to eat them.

Don't think breakfast pancakes, but rather a dreamy, light, aromatic and sweet pudding, slicked with orange-flower syrup and nubbled with pistachios, to go after a vaguely Middle-Eastern dinner eaten languorously outside in the garden on a warm summer evening.

The syrup itself can be made in advance and just stored in a jar in the fridge, just as long as you remember to get it back to room temperature before you pour it over the cardamom-scented pancakes.

And you don't have to get busy at the stove at the very end of dinner to make the pancakes. Just cook them before you sit down at table, place them on a large baking sheet or ovenproof plate, tent with foil and keep them warm in a low oven (preheated to 120ºC/gas mark ½) until you want to eat them.

Arabian Pancakes With Orange-Flower Syrup
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Makes: approx. 20 pancakes

Metric Cups

For the Orange Flower Syrup

  • 225 grams caster sugar
  • 125 millilitres water
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flower water

For the Pancakes

  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons greek yoghurt (or labneh)
  • approx. 125 millilitres semi skimmed milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 50 grams butter (melted and cooled (or 3 tablespoons almond oil))

To Serve

  • 2 handfuls pistachios (shelled and chopped)

For the Orange Flower Syrup

  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flower water

For the Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons greek yoghurt (or labneh)
  • ½ cup reduced fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled (or 3 tablespoons almond oil))

To Serve

  • 2 handfuls pistachios (shelled and chopped)

Method

  1. To make the syrup, bring the sugar and water gradually to the boil in a saucepan, swilling the pan to help the sugar dissolve, but on no account stirring it. Once it's boiling, pour in the lemon juice and then turn down the heat a little and simmer the syrup for about 10-15 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the orange-flower water and simmer for another 5 minutes, then cool the syrup and chill in the fridge.
  2. To make the pancakes, measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl then spoon the yoghurt into a measuring jug and, stirring with a fork, pour in the milk until you hit the 250ml / 1 cup mark. If you need to, add a little more than the 125ml / ½ cup specified to do so.
  3. Whisk in the egg and then the almond oil, then stir this jugful of wet ingredients into the bowlful of dry ones. Almost immediately the mixture will stiffen into a thick, fluffy batter.
  4. Heat a dry griddle and when it is hot add about 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each pancake. The mixture is quite thick, so you will need to encourage the pancakes into a round shape with the back of the spoon before the batter sets (they will be roughly 7cm in diameter). When the pancakes begin to bubble a little on top, flip them over and cook the other side to a golden brown.
  5. Keep the pancakes warm under foil as you finish cooking the rest of the batter; you shouldn't need to sit them in the oven unless you're cooking these before dinner.
  6. When you are ready to eat them, and boy will you be ready, drizzle with cold syrup and sprinkle over a handful or so of ridiculously green, splintered and chopped pistachios.
  1. To make the syrup, bring the sugar and water gradually to the boil in a saucepan, swilling the pan to help the sugar dissolve, but on no account stirring it. Once it's boiling, pour in the lemon juice and then turn down the heat a little and simmer the syrup for about 10-15 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the orange-flower water and simmer for another 5 minutes, then cool the syrup and chill in the fridge.
  2. To make the pancakes, measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl then spoon the yoghurt into a measuring jug and, stirring with a fork, pour in the milk until you hit the 250ml / 1 cup mark. If you need to, add a little more than the 125ml / ½ cup specified to do so.
  3. Whisk in the egg and then the almond oil, then stir this jugful of wet ingredients into the bowlful of dry ones. Almost immediately the mixture will stiffen into a thick, fluffy batter.
  4. Heat a dry griddle and when it is hot add about 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each pancake. The mixture is quite thick, so you will need to encourage the pancakes into a round shape with the back of the spoon before the batter sets (they will be roughly 7cm in diameter). When the pancakes begin to bubble a little on top, flip them over and cook the other side to a golden brown.
  5. Keep the pancakes warm under foil as you finish cooking the rest of the batter; you shouldn't need to sit them in the oven unless you're cooking these before dinner.
  6. When you are ready to eat them, and boy will you be ready, drizzle with cold syrup and sprinkle over a handful or so of ridiculously green, splintered and chopped pistachios.

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