Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mesquite Pancakes

Looking for an activity to do with your children? Thanks to the education department at the www.arizonahistoricalsociety for telling us about the history of the Mesquite Tree while we make delicious pancakes:

Mesquite Trees are common in Arizona. They have ferny, bright green leaves, long pale yellow seedpods, and trunks that separate into branches just above the ground. They grow well in Arizona because they need a lot of sunshine and not much water.

When the seedpods ripen and fall of the trees, some people think they are litter. However, there are others who are excited at the sight of fallen seedpods because they turn these pods into flour in order to make delicious treats, like pancakes.

Prepare Beans:
-Rinse beans under running water to remove dirt and rocks
-Pick out anything that is not a mesquite bean
-Place beans in an oven-proof container or on a foil-lined oven rack
-Make sure water is not dripping off the beans and collecting in the bottom of the pan
-Cook at 150° F until crispy dry-may take-2 to 4 hours (The beans should not actually cook-they may caramelize if cooked at too high a temperature due to high sugar content)

Prepare Flour:
-Place about 15 beans into a blender
-Blend for approximately 20 to 30 seconds (if ground too long, the seeds will be ground up as well and they are VERY bitter)
-Sift through strainer to separate larger pieces of the seedpods from the fine powder, which is the mesquite flour
-Place the mesquite flour in a bag and store in the freezer until needed

Or purchase mesquite flour at Native Seeds Search, 526 N. 4th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705,

You Need:

3/4 cup mesquite flour
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 to 2 cups milk

Step 1: Mix mesquite flour, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar first.

Step 2: Mix in vanilla and eggs.

Step 3: Mix in milk until desired thickness is acquired.
*The thinner the mix, the thinner the pancakes, the thicker the mix, the thicker
the pancakes.

Step 4: Spoon onto a hot griddle and flip when batter
begins to bubble.

Step 5: Serve with butter and honey or syrup.

Makes 12 - 18 pancakes

*Recipe courtesy of Martha Darancou Aguirre of Rancho la Inmaculada.