Vegan Pear Pie Pancakes with a Hint of Chocolate

Sunday morning. Its a time when sleep, laziness and pancakes are most appropriate. That magical time of the week when you don't feel ...

Sunday morning. Its a time when sleep, laziness and pancakes are most appropriate. That magical time of the week when you don't feel guilty about still lying in bed at 10 or 11 in the morning or walking around naked.

Sundays are my true days of rest. 

I don't work out, I stay in a lot, I bake, I watch movies...I relax. I actually love Sundays for all those reasons. I also find that time seems to move a lot more slowly on Sundays than on other days of the week. I seem to accomplish far more than I ever can in a normal day in only a few hours. This morning was that kind of a productively lazy one. I woke up late, I made me and my husband pancakes, we went for a huge walk in which we found a new park (and ran around it like idiots), we bought some groceries and haggled for a piece of art for our dining room, drove back downtown to pick up the art piece and then home again. This all happened in the span of a few hours. 

Sunday morning is the only time I like to make pancakes. I find pancakes a little heavy as a breakfast, and even though they're pretty easy to make, I always assume they are a big project, a project fit perfectly for the only day of the week when I have the nothing but spare time. 

I have been doing a lot of refined-sugar-free and low-fat baking lately. I have a hard time digesting refined sugars and fats and am constantly trying to reduce my processed sugar intake or annihilate it altogether. My most recent experiment was a sugar-free Saskatoonberry pie. I liked the pie a lot but it was not very sweet in the end. In fact, it tasted more like a fig newton than a berry pie. Today I wanted something really delicious that just happened to be low fat and sugar free.

I have been experimenting with baking with pear sauce and pear butter lately and have loved the results.  The two ingredients may sound similar but they are quite distinct. Pear sauce is pears cooked down to an apple-sauce consistency that is thin and fresh tasting. Pear butter is pear sauce reduced to a thick and syrupy consistency with a caramel and malt flavor. Today I decided to incorporate both ingredients into a vegan pear pie pancake. The result was a great Sunday breakfast.

I had never made a vegan pancake before but they turned out even better than I had hoped. I wanted to top them with a fruit based sauce instead of maple syrup so I thought an apple pie inspired sauce would be great. 

If you have never made apple pie with pears instead of apples, you should. 

Its absolutely delicious. Firm pears are a little less acidic than apples and I find that they make lovely pies and crumbles. They also pair well with chocolate (pun intended!) so I decided to give this recipe a bit more depth of flavor by adding some cocoa powder and chocolate extract. It gave the pancakes and sauce a little richness and earthiness. You can't really taste the cocoa at first but then you notice it a little in the aftertaste.

The awesome pancakes I made today were vegan, gluten free, sugar free and low fat.  

They are fruit-sweetened, full of fiber, protein and EFAs.They taste like pear pie or pear cake with a hint of cocoa. The pancakes are light and fluffy while the sauce is rich and sweet. The recipe is pretty easy to throw together for an impressive brunch or breakfast.

I hope you give them a try on a Sunday morning, or any morning.

Vegan Pear Pie Pancakes with a Hint of Chocolate 

Pear Pie Sauce
Makes 2-4 servings

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 firm pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 dash coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp unsweetened pear butter
  • 4 tsp unsweetened pear sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 8 drops stevia
  • 1-3 tsp maple syrup (optional, can be replaced with more stevia if you want sugar-free sauce
Note: If you want to add maple flavor without adding maple syrup try maple extract.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add a dash of sea salt, and the cinnamon. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the chopped pear and saute for a minute. Add the cocoa powder and saute for 30 seconds. Add the pear sauce and pear butter and stir. Heat for a minute. Add the water, vanilla, and chia seeds. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stevia and maple syrup (if using) and simmer on low heat until ready to serve.

Pear Pie Pancake Batter
Makes 4 large pancakes
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened pear butter
  • 5 tsp unsweetened pear sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 dashes coarse sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 7 drops stevia

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine millet flour, cinnamon, and cocoa until mixed thoroughly. Add the pear butter and pear sauce and stir to incorporate. Add the baking soda and baking powder and apple cider vinegar and chia seeds and stir through. Add the water and stir until smooth. Add the olive oil and stevia and stir to incorporate. Let the batter rest until small bubbles appear on the surface of the batter (about 5-10 minutes).

When ready to fry, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 of batter into center of the pan and tilt the pan around to spread into pancake shape. Dust the surface with a little cinnamon. The pancake is ready to flip when its edges are light brown and a few small bubbles appear on top (note: there will not be a lot of bubbles on the surface with this batter). Pancakes can be flipped when you can easily slide your spatula underneath them without batter sticking to the spatula. When flipped, the top will be a deep golden brown but not burnt. Allow to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the opposite side before plating.

Optional: butter the pancake with coconut oil before adding the Pear Pie Sauce.

Once plated, top with a few spoonfuls of the Pear Pie Sauce. Serve immediately.

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