A quick trip out to get ingredients can be a big ordeal here in Haiti, especially this time of year. May marks the start of the rainy season. We’ve seen torrential downpours almost daily for several weeks now here in Port-au-Prince. These heavy rains wash out main roads, swell the region’s rivers, overflow the sewers, and cause flash floods which can destroy the fragile homes that line the city’s narrow ravines. Add to this near daily political protests, that bring traffic to a halt with barricades and can shut down whole sections of the city. Recently, two of the three main bridges to the north (on our side of the city) have been out of commission after one collapsed when critical bolts were pilfered. So when I woke up this morning, craving a hearty pancake breakfast, convincing Paul to brave the traffic for butter, milk, or any other breakfast staple was a no-go. This recipe emerged from the bounty of our backyard; toasted coconut from our coconut tree and fresh-as-they-come eggs from Paul’s chickens. These Fresh Coconut Pancakes are absolutely delicious, custardy, and with just the right amount of chew, a perfect start to a rainy day.
Yield: 4 medium pancakes
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons powdered milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup grated coconut, toasted (for garnish)
- In small bowl, whisk together the coconut water, eggs, and powdered milk until smooth.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Just prior to cooking, add about 2/3 of the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Add the remaining liquid and whisk to full incorporated.
- Heat a wide non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Use a little butter (or cooking spray) to lightly oil the pan. Add the batter (about 1/4 at a time) to the pan. It should sizzle as it hits the pan. Note that this is a thin batter and will spread more than an average fluffy American-style pancake. Sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of grated coconut as it cooks.
- You'll cook the pancake for about 2 minutes on the first side, you are looking for bubbles to form in the batter and the outer edge of the pancake to turn from glossy to matte. Flip the pancake and cook for about 1 more minute. This should just give you some color on the second side.
- Repeat until all the pancakes are finished cooking. Serve immediately with toasted coconut, brown sugar, cane syrup, maple syrup, or sweetened condensed milk (if you want to try Paul's new favorite).