Friday, January 17, 2014

individual puff pancakes with kiwi curd and strawberries


image by Callie

the summer before my sophomore year of high school, i moved in with my aunt kris and uncle morgan in merced, california. my family was moving there from north carolina in the fall, but my parents and my aunt worked out some kind of deal that i got to go out early. it was such a wise move on my parents' part and a gracious gesture from my aunt and uncle. i was able to make friends before the school year started and have a summer full of independence and new experiences. it was a defining time for the teenage me.

i remember going to a camp for the teenage girls in our church congregation and getting so sick that i was hallucinating and had to come home. i remember discovering a salad that was the inspiration for what would later become the callie salad. i remember sharing a room with my younger cousin, meghan. and a nietzsche quote on the wall, "life without music would be a mistake". or a on post card. i can't recall. i remember the strawberries. central california strawberries are a phenomenon. they are gigantic and sweet and make the best freezer jam. i also remember snapple. kiwi strawberry to be exact. the drink had a light pink hue and was super sweet and tart at the same time. it was my aunt's refreshment of choice at the time and part of the inspiration for this recipe.

my intention for today was to develop another puff pancake recipe for the cookbook (hot fudge and peanut butter are involved) and then i noticed some kiwi in the fridge. i'd toyed with the idea of doing a lime curd for puff pancakes with strawberries, but when i saw those kiwi, the memory of that snapple bottle came flooding back and i knew what i had to do...and kiwi curd was born! well, my version at least. and don't worry. the other recipe got the attention it deserved and is complete now too.

now let's move on to the puff pancake part of this story. our kids love them. they ask for them almost every day. here's a confession...i used to have "hot breakfast" guilt. there was a time not too long ago when i felt an inordinate amount of guilt for not feeding our children a hot, homemade breakfast every morning before they dashed out the door to school. i don't feel that way anymore, but if i can find ways to get a hot, homemade breakfast into their bellies that requires minimal time commitment on my part, i'm down.

the other part of this puff pancake tale is that our kids tend to argue and pout when it comes to who gets what part of the big puff pancake. some days they all want the super buttery and custard-like middle piece. other times they want the puffy and sometimes crunch corners. the idea came today to cook the batter in individual ramekins to provide everyone their own smooth, buttery center along with the puffy and crunchy edges. 

and it worked! and it cut the cooking time in half! and i get to use my ramekins more often! and i might make our kids a hot, homemade breakfast in the morning! but they might also get cereal. or toast. and i'm okay with that too. 

one more thing...the curd is cooked in the microwave. gasp! i know. i learned this method from a good friend. it's easier and just as good. so there ya go. let's still be friends, okay?

last thing...promise. to receive a couple extra "if i were..." menu ideas and secret recipes every month that i only share via email click here. i'll also be sending out recipes every once in a while for testing and feedback. so fun, yeah?

individual puff pancakes with kiwi curd and strawberries
makes 8 pancakes

for the curd:
4 kiwis, peeled and cut into quarters
the juice of 2 limes, about 1/4 cup
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted

combine kiwis and lime juice in a powerful blender or food processor. process until smooth. set aside. in a microwave safe bowl, combine kiwi and lime mixture, sugar, eggs and butter. whisk till combined well

place bowl in the microwave and cook in one minute intervals, whisking after each minute. repeat 4-6 times until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a metal spoon. cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10. this can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

for the fruit garnish:
2 kiwis, diced small
7-8 large strawberries, diced small

for the pancake:
6 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

preheat oven to 400 degrees. place 8 ramekins on a cookie sheet with about a tsp of butter (a small pat is fine) in the bottom of each ramekin. combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk till smooth. when butter is melted, carefully ladle a little less than 1/2 cup of batter into each ramekin. bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. 

using a metal spatula or sharp knife, carefully remove each pancake from its ramekin. top each pancake with as much kiwi curd as you like and some of the fresh kiwi and strawberries. if you're feeling fancy, you can dust a little powdered sugar on top as well.

note: this curd is not very green. if that bothers you, add a drop of green food coloring and the problem is solved. this recipe also yields a large amount of curd. warning: there will be leftovers. use it any other way you would use lemon or lime curd. it would be delicious with regular pancakes or waffles or ice cream too. i would probably just eat it with a spoon. yumma!


  1. YUM! I have to tell you, Mags wants puff pancakes (or as we call them in our house, hootenannies) EVERY SINGLE DAY. And, I oblige... not so good for a diet, but so good for our tummies! I will have to try your recipe for curd, yum!

  2. These look so good! I think I might just have to go buy me some strawberries and kiwis tonight for breakfast tomorrow. :) Thank you for the recipe!!

  3. Curd in the microwave!? I'm sooo intrigued. I actually just read an article about steaming fish in the microwave which sounds like a disaster, but I'm thinking the microwave needs a second shot at serious culinary tool-dom. Also, rich and eggy puff pancakes with sweet-tart kiwi strawberry is such a perfect idea. I've been dumping maple on mine and now I feel like a barbarian.

  4. i cannot figure out how to subscribe, wahhhh. am i missing it?

    1. did you figure it out jamie? so sorry for the confusion. the new website will be much more easy to navigate! talk to you soon :)