If you’re like most other animals in the woods, you’ve been collecting acorns this fall. it’s not too late if you haven’t started yet. You can read all about the harvesting process in my previous article here. Once you've finished collecting and leaching, it’s time to reward yourself with a meal.
There are a million different ways to eat acorns, but I think a stack of pancakes is the best place to start. I’ve never met a pancake I didn’t like, but no matter how much my mouth loves them, they always feel like a lead weight in my gut and leave me feeling lethargic. Not so with acorn pancakes, though. Acorns transform this special-occasion breakfast treat into something that I can eat any morning of the week, providing a full belly and lasting energy all day long.
If you’re using hot-leached acorns, you’ll want to use a 1:1 acorn flour to wheat flour ratio. If you’re using cold-leached acorns, you can use 100% acorn flour or just add a little wheat flour for a little more loft. The acorn flour can be ground anywhere from fine to coarse, depending on what texture you like. I love a coarse grind to leave some chewy bits and chunks of nuts.
You can make the batter immediately before cooking, but it’s even better made a day or two in advance. If you make it ahead of time and it stiffens up in the fridge, just gently stir in a splash of water or milk to loosen it up. Making the batter in advance is especially handy during hunting season. Starting the day with a warm, hearty breakfast in the same time it takes to make coffee will keep you going until dinner.
- 1½ cups acorn flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1¾ tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine well.
- Stir the milk and melted butter into the beaten eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just enough to combine.
- Preheat a skillet or griddle on medium heat. If you're using seasoned cast iron, there's no need to grease. If using thinner metal, grease lightly.
- Warm the maple syrup or topping of your choice over low heat in a small saucepan.
- Scoop batter onto the hot griddle with a spoon by letting the batter pour off the end of the spoon until the cake is the size you want it.
- When you see bubbles rising in the center of your cakes, lift an edge with a spatula, and if it’s nicely browned and the bubbles in the center are popping, flip.
- The second side takes about half as long as the first side to cook. Gently press the center with a finger—you should not feel the softness of uncooked batter.
- Stack the cakes onto plates and serve steaming hot with butter and syrup or topping of your choice.