Strawberries & Creme Pancakes

Yield: 6 small pancakes

Plan ahead: soak 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup almonds in water overnight

The spring is in full swing, and I’m starting to have real strawberry vision everywhere I go. I’ll write long lists of possible strawberry flavor combinations and dessert ideas, and then have to reel it in a little. 

These pancakes are strawberries and creme galore! The pancake is fluffy with a mellow strawberry flavor thanks to strawberry preserves, skins, and berry flavored sparkling water. The creme is indulgent but substantial to get you moving through the day thanks to the cashew + almond blend. It’s like whipped cream’s sophisticated older sibling. The sauce is just strawberries, sugar, salt, some heat, and some passion thanks to your hunger! 

Get your cashews + slivered almonds soaking now! Preferably overnight, or if it’s too late, boil water and soak them in that for an hour! 

Let’s talk about The Batter:

The strawberry pancake batter contains strawberry preserves and strawberry skins. I use preserves to flavor and partially sweeten the pancake batter. I use strawberry skins because it’s the juiciest, brightest part of the strawberry. You’re not making a smoothie, you’re making pancakes! 

My non-dairy milk of choice is coconut milk for these pancakes because it keeps them nice and fluffy, and a little buttery thanks to the (good) fat content. I mix in a little apple cider or coconut vinegar in order to prevent the strawberries + preserves from weighing down the pancake. 

The secret weapon, though, is using a berry flavored sparkling water. The carbonation also helps make these pancakes fluffy, while also boosting the ego--I mean flavor of these pancakes. Make sure it’s unsweetened sparkling water, as you don’t want to over -sweeten these pancakes. The batter is on the thicker side, but try not to add more liquid unless it resembles pizza dough. Then add a little sparkling water. 

Now, let’s talk about the Strawberry Creme:

If you follow me on IG, you probably realize I put ricotta on just about everything. I can’t help it! Luckily, it’s cashew and almond based, so it’s good for me. I use raw cashews, whole or pieces both work. Pieces are less expensive. I use slivered almonds because I don’t like to deal with blanching almonds! 

I wanted to see what would happen if I made a fruit ricotta by pulsing in strawberry preserves and pulling back on the salt and lemon quantities. It makes for a perfectly sweet creme, and is a lot more nutritious than a plain, old whipped cream topping!

One thing to keep your eye on is not adding too much water to the cashew and almonds when pulsing them together. Keep in mind that you will be adding 1/4 cup of strawberry preserves which will add a lot more liquid to the mixture. Let the nuts break down and pulse for several minutes, and they will soften. The longer the nuts are soaked in water overnight, the less they need when pulsing.

And the Topping! Strawberry Sauce: 

For something so easy to make, this sauce completes the pancakes and creme! I like to use thinly sliced strawberries. Keep your eye on the sauce mixture, the slices can turn their back on you real fast if you don’t. I prefer to let them cook on medium for about four minutes, stirring every minute or so, and then reduce heat to very low and let them simmer. I add water every once in awhile since they tend to caramelize. 

Let's get to it! 

DIRECTIONS:

Make Strawberry Creme: 

Strawberry Creme

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight

1/2 cup raw, slivered almonds, soaked in water overnight

1/4 cup water

1/4 strawberry preserves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1.) Drain cashews and almonds. 

2.) Using a food processor, pulse the cashews, almonds, and water together until nuts are broken down and the texture is similar to that of ricotta. The longer the nuts are soaked in water overnight, the less they need when pulsing. I wouldn’t add more than 1/4 cup, just make sure to scrape sides of the bowl down every once in awhile. Keep in mind that the preserves will add liquid to the ricotta, so if it’s dry now, don’t worry! 

3.) Add in the strawberry preserves, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse until preserves are thoroughly combined. 

4.) Transfer creme to a bowl, cover, and store in freezer if you’re about to make the pancakes. If making ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Make Strawberry Sauce: 

Strawberry Sauce

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt 

+ Water (if neededl)

1.) In a medium saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and salt, until strawberries are evenly coated. Place on medium heat for about four minutes, until they start to soften and caramelize, stirring every minute or so. 

2.) Reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook for about ten more minutes. Checking to make sure they're not overcooking. Remove from heat. Add water and stir if sauce becomes too thick. Set aside. 

Batter up! 

Strawberry Pancake Batter

1 cup flour

3/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk

1/4 berry flavored sparkling water 

1/4 cup strawberry skins, diced

2 tbsp strawberry preserves 

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt 

1.) If using an electric griddle, preheat griddle to 350 degrees. 

2.) Make sure you pat down extra liquid from the strawberry skins with paper towels. 

3.) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and vinegar together until foamy. Set aside to curdle.

3.) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 

4.) Add the strawberry skins, preserves, maple syrup, and sparkling water to the coconut milk-vinegar mixture. Mix until all clumps of the preserves are broken down and combined with the rest of the liquids. 

5.) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until just combined, be careful not to over-stir. The batter can be bumpy. The batter should be pretty thick, but still workable. If it resembles pizza dough, add a splash of sparkling water and gently mix. 

5.) Ladle about a 1/3 cup batter on the skillet. Spread it out into a nice, round circle. Cook on first side until bubbles appear in the center of the pancake. Flip, then cook for about a minute and transfer to a cooling rack or plate. 

ASSEMBLE + EAT!

I like to layer my pancakes like this: 

1 pancake + strawberry creme + 1 pancake + strawberry creme + 1 pancake + strawberry sauce

ENJOY!