My mother had an arsenal of special side dishes and treats—all home made with natural, wholesome ingredients. This one, though with a scent of autumn, is a Puerto Rican treat with its roots in Spain and for my family the Canary Islands where my mother’s maternal ancestors were from. “Tortitas de Calabazas” is a year round appetizer, side dish or dessert if you live in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean or the Canary Islands. But for those living where pumpkin grows seasonal, it’s a fall treat. Prepared with spices—the warming of cinnamon, the sweetness of brown sugar, the protein of eggs and the energy of this carbohydrate high in beta-carotene—makes Tortitas de Calabazas a special treat any time of the day. It is like a pancake, but much smaller since there is less flour and more pumpkin. Though they are traditionally fried, I sauté them on a skillet as if I were making pancakes.
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Below is my recipe, a spin off from my mother’s. This one is gluten free. ¡Buen provecho!
“Tortitas de Calabazas” (pumpkin patties)
by Margarita Persico
- 1 cup (200 g) pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, maple syrup, Stevia or the sweetener of your choice (may add more sugar or less to taste)
- ½ – 1 tablespoon cinnamon or pumpkin spices
- ½ cup (100 g) of gluten free flour
- vegetable oil
- wash pumpkin and egg
- cook pumpkin or use can
- in a bowl or food processor mash or puree a cup of pumpkin
- in a small bowl beat 1 egg and then add to mixture above
- add ½ cup of the flour of your choice
- Add sugar and spices
- Mix all ingredients
- If mixture is too watery add more flour until the consistency is of a thick pancake batter.
- Heat skillet with some canola or oil of your choice.
- Scoop one large tablespoon and make medallion size pancakes. The smaller the spoonful, the easier to handle.
- May top with confectionary sugar, cranberry sauce or just enjoy alone. They are delicious!
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