If you are a person who follows along with my blog and you were really looking forward to using up that freeze dried corn in a Crack Pie this week, you’re going to have to hold your horses a little bit longer. I have every intention of making Crack Pie, I swear! But the friend who requested it is gallivanting in Costa Rica right now. And since I’m an excellent friend, I didn’t want to make the pie and then eat it all before she gets back. Which I would absolutely do because pie > friendship.
I woke up Sunday morning to even more snow. Because there wasn’t enough from the day before, apparently. The sky just wants to snow and snow forever and make me miserable and cold. And then this jerk is posting pictures of beaches and palm trees in Costa Rica, mocking me! I wandered down to the kitchen, whose freezing cold tiles numbed my feet, and saw two overripe bananas on the countertop.
When I saw those bananas on my counter and those palm trees on Instagram, I just needed banana pancakes. As if they would somehow transport me somewhere warm and sunny.
As I searched for “banana pancakes” on Google, I discovered that there is a Jack Johnson song by that name. Jack Johnson, with his incessant ukulele and vacation vibes. Singing about the weather being crappy and about how he and his lady should sleep in and he’ll make her banana pancakes. Sigh.
Suddenly, I was living in a Jack Johnson song. My lady, Phillip, was sleeping in upstairs while the snow kept falling, and he totally deserves banana pancakes. But that ukulele made me want more out of these particular pancakes. Something even more Hawaiian.
When we stayed in Hilo, we went to a farmers’ market where they had all kinds of amazing tropical fruit, including a dozen kinds of bananas I had never heard of. Honestly, I didn’t know there were banana varieties. The lady at that stand loaded us up with tons of different bananas and gave us a steep discount for taking the really ripe ones. We picked up a little bag of dried coconut flakes at a nearby store. The next morning, Phillip made me banana coconut pancakes in the kitchen of our rental house. It was dreamy.
So I set to work on these, scooping up a bowl of coconut from the giant bag I keep in the basement, flipping and flipping and flipping some more, until all the pancakes were made. I snapped some photos and arrived upstairs with two plates of these pancakes, and Phillip and I ate breakfast in bed together. It was still snowing outside, but it’s the closest we were going to get to Hawaii that day.
- 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (45 grams) toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 small, very ripe banana, peeled and mashed (about 125 grams)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons (13 grams) corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 small, very ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together mashed banana, milk, eggs, and vanilla bean paste (or extract). Using a rubber spatula, mix banana mixture and melted butter into the dry ingredients until just combined. There should be some lumps.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. (If you are not using a nonstick pan, coat the pan with butter or cooking spray before cooking each new pancake.) Ladle ¼ cup of batter for smaller pancakes, and almost ½ cup for larger pancakes. Cook on one side until the edges are just set and tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer pancake to a plate and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter has been used.
- To make the syrup, whisk together coconut milk, granulated sugar, and corn starch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
- To brulee bananas, cut the banana on the bias or into coins. Place slices onto a metal baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the bananas with sugar. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar on the tops of the bananas. (Alternately, place the baking sheet under your broiler.)
- Pour coconut syrup over pancakes, sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut, and top with caramelized bananas.
- Yields 6 large or 12 smaller pancakes