Oat pancakes with roast strawberries and salted caramel sauce
Oats give these pancakes a wonderful creamy consistency. If you have children, as I do, it's great to get them adding flour and milk and cracking eggs; sure, the odd egg hits the floor, or milk spills on the bench, but that's half the fun. Roasting strawberries with raw sugar and maple syrup intensifies their flavour. Most berries can be prepared this way or you can use whatever stone fruit is in season. The caramel sauce is a classy optional extra.
The strawberry juice mixes with the sugars to make a delicious, syrupy sauce. Other berries can be prepared using this method or you can use stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines or apricots. Photo: Marina Oliphant
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3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 punnets strawberries
100g raw sugar
100ml Canadian maple syrup
Salted caramel sauce
2 cups white sugar
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup thickened cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)
To make oat pancakes, pour milk over oats and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Add sugar, oil and egg and beat with a fork. Sift in remaining dry ingredients and stir to form a smooth batter. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin mixture.
Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and cook one-eighth of the mixture for 2 minutes on each side, turning once, or until golden brown on both sides.
Remove and set aside. Serve with warm roast strawberries and salted caramel sauce. Makes 8 pancakes.
To make roast strawberries, heat oven to 200C. Wash strawberries, then mix with sugar and syrup.
Pour into a small roasting tray and roast in oven for 15 minutes, or until soft and juice starts to come out of strawberries. Serve warm or smash with a fork and chill.
To make salted caramel sauce, spread sugar evenly over the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 litres (using a larger saucepan minimises the risk of spitting caramel).
Heat sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt.
Stop whisking when sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while sugar cooks.
Continue cooking until sugar is a deep amber colour — this should take about 15 to 20 minutes. The cooked sugar should look almost reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. It can turn from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so watch it closely.
When it's ready, add butter all at once – take care, as the hot sugar will bubble and spit. Whisk butter into caramel until it melts.
Remove pan from heat and slowly pour cream into caramel. Again, take care because the mixture will bubble ferociously. Whisk until cream is mixed in and sauce is smooth.
Add fleur de sel and whisk to mix. Set sauce aside and serve warm. Makes 2 cups.