Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Butter

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Apple Butter
Serves 4

"These pancakes are delicious," says 'Stiletto Chef' author Candice Kumai, who created this yummy and healthy recipe. "The pumpkin purée and applesauce work together to create tons of moisture and richness. All you need to make my seriously easy apple butter is three ingredients and a little time. The result is an über-sweet and delectable spread that's fantastic on these pancakes or on cinnamon toast with a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt."

Ingredients for the apple butter:
One 24-ounce jar unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for the pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup plain pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup almond milk
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions for the apple butter:
To make the apple butter, whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring every 20 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature before transferring to a plastic container or glass bottle and refrigerating for at least 1 hour before serving.

(The apple butter can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks ahead of using, or double the recipe and use some this weekend and save the rest for another time.)

Directions for the pumpkin pancakes:
Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices together in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin purée, eggs, applesauce, and milk together in a medium bowl and add to the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula to stir gently until they're just combined. The batter will be thick.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Make 3 pancakes using 1/3 cup of batter for each, cooking the pancakes until the outer edges firm up and the bottom is golden-brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden-brown, about another 1 1/2 minutes.

Transfer the pancakes to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining batter, moving the pancakes to the baking sheet once they're browned (once you run out of space on the baking sheet, stack the pancakes, or for fluffier pancakes, use two baking sheets).

Pop the baking sheets in the oven and cook the pancakes for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with a schmear of apple butter, and dig in.

Slim Scoop
Use a clean turkey baster to easily and cleanly transfer the pancake batter from the bowl to the skillet. Sounds silly ('cause it is!) but it totally works.