–A Recipe for Orange Infused Semolina Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup and Toasted Sesame Seeds
–For my Aunt Tina
This recipe is a conglomeration of many inspirations. First and foremost, I love sesame semolina bread, especially the beautiful golden crust topped with toasted sesame seeds. Sesame bread reminds me of my childhood and eating Greek food with my family, especially my Auntie Tina. Second, I love the smell of freshly peeled oranges in the winter time. The aroma is so invigorating and it evokes memories of times spent in Arizona, eating freshly picked oranges right from the tree. Third, I love Constantinople cake which combines sugar, lots of sesame oil, and orange flavor!
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, therefore I wanted to create a recipe that combined semolina, sesame, oranges, and strawberries into a healthy pancake breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly eat Constantinople cake for breakfast, but it is loaded with sugar and oil, and in many cases butter and eggs.
In the Southeast, some of our produce seasons overlap, which is wonderful for us cooks. Currently, some of the first strawberries of the season are being harvested and beautiful oranges are available at the markets. My pancake recipe combines flavors of the East in the Southeast! The gorgeous strawberries for this recipe come from one of my favorite local farms; Ambrose Family Farms on Johns Island, SC. Pete and Barb Ambrose have been providing Lowcountry residents with amazing produce and seafood since 1967. I always enjoy a drive to their farm or the Tomato Shed Cafe to pick up whatever fresh delicacies that have just been harvested. Since my girls usually eat most of the strawberries on the drive home, I make sure to buy extra!
This recipe is easy. I like to prepare the milk a day or two before and store it in the refrigerator. This eliminates the time spent waiting for it to cool down and the flavors have more time to marinate. Another option is to heat the milk while you mix the dry ingredients. Simmer your own homemade strawberry syrup or use jam from your refrigerator for a quicker option!
Top pancakes with toasted sesame seeds, strawberry syrup or jam, and fresh fruit.
Orange Infused Sesame Semolina Pancakes
Orange Infused Milk
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 large blood orange juiced and zested
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamon optional
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp date syrup or honey
Semolina Pancake Batter
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup flour*
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups orange infused almond milk plus extra to thin batter if needed
- 2 tbsp date syrup or sugar
Orange Infused Milk
- Add almond milk, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, cardamon if using, and 1-2 tbsp date syrup to a small saucepan.
- Gently heat over low to medium low heat until the milk is fragrant and has reduced some. You will need 2 1/4-2 1/2 cups for the pancake batter.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.*
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for another use.
- Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, 2 1/4 cup of orange infused almond milk, and 2 tbsp of date syrup or honey.
- Whisk gently and do not overmix.
- The batter will be thick and fluffy which means excellent pancakes! If needed thin the batter a bit with reserved almond milk. Add 1-2 tbsp at at time until you reach desired consistency.
- Let the pancake batter rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking on a griddle.
Homemade Strawberry Syrup
- 6 cups fresh strawberries (or frozen)
- 3-4 tbsp sugar, honey, or date syrup to taste
- 1 orange juiced and zested
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan.
- Simmer on low heat until fruit breaks down.
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
- Return liquid to saucepan and discard the solids. Taste and add more sugar, honey, or date syrup if needed.
- Reduce liquid until desired syrup consistency obtained.