Why It Works
- A combination of sour cream and milk gives a stronger, tangier flavor than plain buttermilk, which contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
- Baking powder helps the pancakes rise, while baking soda improves browning.
- Leftover sweet potatoes get new life by turning into the star of the breakfast table.
So you've read all about the science of sweet potatoes and how to use their endogenous enzymes to make them extra-sweet and flavorful without the need to add much extra sugar to them. Yet, for some odd reason, there are still leftovers the day after Thanksgiving.* What do you do with them?
*If you're like me, then that odd reason is that the formula for the amount of food you make is always 1.5X+2, where X is the number of guests you are expecting.
Mashed sweet potatoes (and mashed regular potatoes) are tough to reheat without losing their creamy texture or worse, scorching them and winding up with a sticky mess on the bottom of your pan. Instead, why not turn them into moist and tender sweet potato pancakes for breakfast? The recipe is super quick and easy, made 100% from pantry staples, and is great enough that even my wife—no lover of standard pancakes herself—declared them delicious. I may have dug myself into a hole here, as I'm certain that I'll be required to pull out this recipe now and then even when I don't have leftover sweet potatoes.
It's not far off from a traditional pancake batter. Mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, a dash of maple syrup, and some melted butter form the base of the wet ingredients. Instead of buttermilk, I like to use a mixture of regular milk and sour cream for extra tang without having to thin out the texture of the batter too much (of course, if you've got buttermilk on hand, it'll work just fine). To this, I whisk in flour, baking powder (for rise), baking soda (for better browning), and a pinch each of salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
They cook up in a few minutes in a hot buttered griddle.
Ready for some gratuitous pancakes-with-syrup shots? Here you go:
Now, I don't know about you, but this seems like a particularly fine stack to pour syrup on the morning after Thanksgiving (or any fall morning, for that matter).
We still get a pass on calorie counting and reasonably-sized portions on the morning after Thanksgiving, right? Right!?
- 1 1/4 cups leftover mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 4 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cinnamon
Combine sweet potatoes, sour cream, milk, egg, and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan and add to mixture. Whisk until homogenous.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined (do not overmix).
Melt 1 tablespoon remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat pan. Add four 1/4-cup batches of batter, using the back of a ladle to smooth them out into 4-inch disks. Cook, swirling gently on occasion, until the first side is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until browned on second side and pancakes are puffed, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate set in a warm oven and repeat until all pancakes are cooked. Serve immediately with extra maple syrup.
This recipe requires 1 1/4 cups of leftover mashed sweet potatoes. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger group. 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk can be used in place of the milk and sour cream.