My point is that sometimes seemingly ridiculous combinations or contrasting flavours can work. While quinoa and quince don’t exactly encourage repulsion, I nevertheless found this combination to be rather interesting to work with. Pungent and nutty quinoa flour vs dreamy and yielding sweet quince… finding the right balance took some messy practice. But we got there.
Have you used quinoa flour before? It’s quite the rambunctious ingredient. It’s different, it’s nutty and it’s decidedly self-assured. When I first attempted to make quince pancakes using quinoa flour I found the ground quinoa flavour all together far too overwhelming. It suffocated the quince. The balance was way off, I needed to bring the sweetness out so that you weren’t lamenting the presence of quinoa and pining for the regular stuff after the first bite. Because quinoa flour is worth having in your life. It’s nutrient profile is far superior to white flour, providing you with protein and fibre, as well as other important micronutrients. And it’s gluten-free to boot, so coeliac peeps can feel the love. I hate to exclude people, especially when pancakes are involved.
So some Saturday mornings later, after a little tweaking here and there, we have a rather lovely quinoa quince pancake recipe, using leftover poached quince. The sweet, soft, poetic chunks of this Autumn fruit contrast wonderfully with the earthy, fluffy pancake batter. The sharp nuttiness of the quinoa flour champions through, yet it’s nice, you welcome the contrast. It works. It’s balanced.
Next stop, spaghetti with vegemite.
Quinoa Quince Pancakes
Serves 2 (makes 4 small pancakes)
1/2 cup Quinoa Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder (ensure you use gluten-free baking powder for gluten-free pancakes)
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
A pinch of Salt
1 Egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
100g Poached Quince (recipe link)
Butter to grease the pan
1. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar (to ensure there are no sugar lumps) into a mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and salt, then stir to combine.
2. Add the beaten egg, milk and vanilla to the bowl and fold the ingredients together (be sure to not over-work the mixture).
3. Let the mixture sit for ~20 minutes.
4. Chop the quince into 1.5cm chunks. Carefully fold through the batter.
5. Heat a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Grease the pan with a little butter. When the pan is hot, add a scoop of the mixture (remembering to allow for 4 pancakes) and flatten slightly so the pancake is spread in an even circle (some quince chunks might pop through a little, that is fine). Cook the pancakes on one side for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side for another couple of minutes until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining mixture (using two pans or cooking two batches, keeping the first batch warm under on a plate). Serve.