Father's Day Brunch: Mango Pancakes With Rum Glaze
I am not usually one to brag, but just ride along with me for a moment because this deserves it. I have a mango tree in my backyard. We just moved in last July, and while I vaguely remember one of the landscaping guys mentioning that we just missed mango season, I suppose at the time I wasn't paying attention. Maybe I had too many things on my mind like, oh you know, unpacking an entire house full of way too many boxes accumulated over the years in our Miami condo closets and things shoved haphazardly in random boxes on the truck during our only two days off from extremely busy schedules (wow, I don't miss that).
So about a month ago, my daughter started to pick up these strange little lime-looking things from the ground and brought them to me in a bucket. "Look at my apples that fell from the tree," she said. I had no idea what they were, because, well, I am from the rural midwest. My only time spent in Florida thus far has been 25 stories up with concrete and neon lights. I knew Florida had things like, you know, trees. But never have I seen a baby mango. A few google searches and several patient weeks later--woohoo! We have fresh mangoes in the back corner of our yard! And they are starting to ripen.
Last week we had the first taste of afternoon summer rains starting to return for the year, and with that came a much needed lazy day but also strong winds that blew a lot of mangoes out of the tree. I took out my little two-year-old helper with her basket, and then let them ripen on my kitchen counter until the weekend. There's just something about Sundays and pancakes that go together like nothing else. No buzzing alarm clocks, little messy-haired children lounging in pajamas, baking in your underwear and apron (oh, sorry, just me? ok.. liars), and in our house usually a breeze pouring in the windows with fans spinning on high. I hope the excitement never drains from my kids' voices when I ask if they want to help make pancakes and they respond with an enthusiastic "of course!" and "yay!" and run through the house to announce that we are going to make pancakes! I have to admit my recipe is pretty perfect by now, after a countless number of batches. But while I prefer classic blueberry, and my husband will beg for chocolate chip, I like to mix it up and try new additions--usually with whatever is fresh in season or needs to be used from the pantry. I've only failed once, and that was a not-so-red red velvet cheesecake disaster that I ambitiously attempted from Pinterest. I didn't have enough red food coloring (seriously who has that much on hand?) and to be fair, it wasn't my core pancake recipe. They were a mess. But some of my successes have included lemon poppy seed, almond ricotta, skinny protein pumpkin, and of course peanut butter banana. I am not a fan of (fake) bottled maple syrup, so unless we have the real stuff on hand (like, leftover from a given-up attempt at the lemonade master cleanse, perhaps....ahem). I like to make a quick fruit or chocolate sauce, or stay simple with butter and powdered sugar. I've used whole wheat, and also made them flourless with protein powder and greek yogurt. But some things are better untouched--like the fluffy perfection of classic (white flour) pancakes on a Sunday. My six-year-old son told me "Mama, you have to go on Chopped. These are the best pancakes EVER." which admittedly he says about any pancake, ever, but still flattering. (My husband and I may or may not have an addiction to watching Chopped. I even caught my mom yelling at the judges on the screen the other day.) While I am no match for a competitive kitchen, I do enjoy my slower version of the creative cooking process. And these mango pancakes were like a tropical, fluffy little heaven on a plate. Rum glaze drizzled on top, and it's the close a pregnant girl is getting to an island drink. In fact, how cute would these be with a colorful little umbrella poked in the top? You could also dress them up for a brunch "build your own" pancake bar with extra toppings like shredded coconut, toasted almonds, or diced fresh pineapples. Before the recipe, my most solid piece of advice if you attempt to make these: double the batch. You will thank me later.