Now I'm not totally sure I can still call it a Hummingbird cake if there is no pineapple. Probably not but its still delicious and this is my recipe for our annual ode to this family favourite.
Pikelets (well we have always called them pancakes but that’s a Heward thing) have always been big in my family as a weekend breakfast and definitely Christmas morning. So, I have been making them for a long time, since maybe ten years old. I remember using Mum’s Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook, and then me buying a Best Recipes version (which is now old… I think that makes me old).
When Frankie was a baby and began to eat solids, I started playing with the recipe to add in more vegetables (zucchini and carrot are our standards), wholemeal flour, our dried figs and to decrease the amount of processed sugar. Now we add all sorts of things - natural yoghurt, buckwheat, quinoa, grated turmeric, chia seeds, cacao, protein powder. My vegan version replaces the diary with coconut milk and the egg with flaxseed.
Then of course for total decadence the last magnificent step of the toppings including strawberries, raspberries, Kakadu plum and raspberry powder, sun dried figs, quince, apricots and a drizzle of our sticky quince sauce.
Keeping it simple here is the Base recipe which I have adjusted over many years from an Australian Women’s Weekly recipe.
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour or gluten free flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 dessertspoon of chia seeds
1/3 small grated carrot
1/3 cup of grated zucchini
A couple sun dried figs chopped up
2/3 cup of milk and maybe alittle extra
1/3 cup of natural yoghurt
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the sugar and chia seeds. Grate in the carrot and zucchini and add the chopped fig. Add in the egg, 1/3 milk, yogurt and mix the dry ingredients through. Slowly add the remainder of the milk and mix until you get any lumps out- but try not to over mix. I usually let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes. After the mix stands it does thicken so you might need to add alittle more milk but don’t make it too runny. Heat a fry pan and melt some butter and oil into it. I drop tablespoons of the mixture into the pan onto the hot pan; when bubbles appear flip the pikelet over.
Makes about 20.
Serve your pikelets on a plate with whatever topping makes you smile. I usually include slices of our fresh and dried figs, sun dried quince, strawberries/raspberries or blueberries, a dash of Kakadu Plum Powder and a drizzle of our sticky quince sauce (coming soon).
- I love a version where I pre-cook ¼ cup of quinoa and ¼ cup buckwheat and add this to the base mix.
- Add a scoop of Protein powder (I use Pureplace) and 2 tablespoons of cacao powder to the base recipe. I usually drop the carrot and zucchini because there are too many flavours for Frankie but it could still work with it all in there. Just add more milk so its not too thick say another 1/3 of cup
- Add grated fresh turmeric to the base, I totally love this tang to the pikelets.
- A vegan version is to replace the cow’s milk with coconut or almond milk and use flaxseed eggs to replace the egg.
And if you are feeling even fancier I use this same batter in a waffle maker- it works superbly. I’d totally love to hear your variations too so Frankie and I can start cooking them soon!
People have asked me frequently what I do with our semi-dried figs. Now this is a reasonable question because Australian dried figs can be pretty hard to source let alone the soft sticky dried ones we produce.
I add dried figs to almost everything we eat. They are super delicious and packed with potassium, calcium, magnesium and fibre. Perfect little nuggets of goodness. In my mind there are so many options but some of my recipes might stretch the boundaries alittle on traditional food pairing.