I made these Filipino Ube Pancakes because they make one feel good all over. Ube or purple yam is having its moment now. The dark purple hues on food is photogenic and is a hit on Instagram posts. Even Ube Pan de Sal is enjoying a resurgence – everyone and his mother, from the USA to the Philippines, is baking those lavender-colored Filipino bread buns.
I won’t bore you with the psychology of baking bread during a global pandemic crisis. Nor will I go into the deep-seated attraction of social media for the color purple on pastries. If you haven’t had ube yet, it is a tuber that grows above ground. It looks like a dark-colored potato on the outside, with a deep lavender hue on the inside. Ube grows abundantly in Asia and is in season the last months of the year. This is why, I noticed when I was growing up in the Philippines, many Filipino kakanins (rice cakes with coconut) during Christmas are made with ube. As a dessert, ube halaya (jam),has an almost floral aroma and sweet flavor.
Most recipes for Ube Pancakes use ube halaya. But we have food shortages now. Quarantine has made it impossible for me to travel to the Asian markets, an hour away from us. So, like most of you, I cook with what I have at home. I had ube powder and flavoring on hand and it was a great addition to the basic pancake recipe.
I poured the thick ube pancake batter into the skillet. I watched the dark purple circle turn into a light brown as it cooked. Spreading the creamy butter, till it melted all over the warm pancakes fed my anticipation. As I watched the maple syrup cascading downwards on my plate, I knew this was what we needed right now. This was indeed a feel-good moment.
Filipino Ube Pancakes with Purple Yam
- Non-stick skillet; 8 inches in diameter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup ube powder
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 2 whole eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Ube Flavor Extract
- cooking spray for cooking pancakes
- unsalted butter
- maple syrup
- assorted berries
- whipped cream
To prepare the ube batter:
- In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.Separately, in a medium-sized bowl, mix the ube powder with the warm water. The ube powder will be slightly wet, but not diluted. Add the ube powder to the dried ingredients in the large bowl. Pour the milk. Blend well.
- Beat the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the eggs and the ube flavoring into the rest of the batter. Blend ingredients well till pancake batter is thick, but smooth.
To cook the Ube Pancakes:
- Spritz the cooking spray into a medium-sized non-stick skillet.Over medium heat, pour 1/3 cup of the ube batter into the center of the skillet.Tilt the pan around to spread the thick batter, creating a round-shaped pancake.Cook each side for 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure the pancake looks nearly solid before flipping it over.
- Serve the pancakes warm with butter and maple syrup on the side.If desired, serve with assorted berries and whipped cream.
- I used Giron Ube Powder, which is dehydrated ube. The product is made in the Philippines but is sold in Asian markets or online sources.If you don't have cooking spray for cooking the pancakes, brush some vegetable oil throughout the skillet. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons, enough to moisten the skillet; do not drown it with an excessive amount of oil.You can freeze the ube batter in a tightly sealed plastic container. It keeps for 2 to 3 weeks.You can also cook the Ube Pancakes ahead, keep them in freezer containers and freeze them for 2 to 3 weeks. To prepare them for serving, thaw and then reheat in the microwave.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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