My daughter recently had a sleepover with a friend from her class who was moving away to California and it was possibly the last time they would see one another. I decided that this was occasion for a special breakfast. All fall we had gathered the fat brown acorns from the ancient oak trees in our field and saved them in baskets. When it became cold and rainy in November I began cracking them open and boiling the nutmeats in several baths of water until the water was fairly clear and the tannins were leached out. Then we dried them in the food dehydrator, and ground them in our grain mill into acorn flour. All this work produced one big jar that I doled out sparingly all year. For those of you who have never tried acorn flour, it is well worth all the work. It has a sweet, almost maple-syrupy flavor and makes a great high-protein flour to bake with. I used The Joy of Cooking's cornmeal pancake recipe since our acorn flour is a little coarser ground like cornmeal. I made a few substitutions also to make them gluten-free for my son's restricted diet.
Mountain Hearth Acorn Pancakes
Whisk in a large bowl:
1 1/4 cups acorn flour
3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's pancake mix)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Whisk in another bowl:
1 2/3 cups milk (I used rice milk) plus more for consistency
4 Tbs unsalted butter melted
1/4 cups pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Then I kept adding rice milk until the batter was runny enough. Then I cooked them in farm butter.
We topped them with wild huckleberry syrup I canned in September from our autumn huckleberry picking trips to high Cascade Mountain lakes. In the past I have thrown a handful of frozen huckleberries in the batter too.
The food critics gave rave reviews! All three kids gobbled them up until there weren't any left. Our guest said they were the best pancakes ever!
Next year, maybe I will have to grind two big jars of acorn flour instead of one!