Elevate the simple pancake with this mix of chai-spices, it makes for a really beautiful dish. Note, plum compote with star anise is great combination which also goes particularly well with rice pudding, yoghurt and porridge. It can be cooked-up and then frozen if you have a late-summer glut of plums, and also stews down well when made straight from frozen plums.
2 Rooted cardamom pods, crushed
2 Rooted black peppercorns, crushed
4 Rooted cloves
1tsp loose tea (Celyon or Assam)
400 plums, quartered
3-4 Rooted star anise
200g self-raising flour
¼ tsp Rooted nutmeg, grated
½ tsp Rooted ground cinnamon
50g caster sugar
2 eggs, whisked
Pour the milk into a small saucepan, and add the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves and loose tea. Heat for five minutes -- only gently -- so the flavours infuse, but not so that the milk boils. Strain the flavoured milk into a new container, and chill.
Meanwhile, put the plums into a pan, add the water, sugar and star anise. Bring to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside, leaving the flavours to infuse.
When you’re ready to make the pancakes, sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon and caster sugar. Make a well in the middle and pour the eggs and chai-flavoured milk into the dip. Beat with a fork until it forms a thick batter with a dropping consistency.
Heat a frying pan to a gentle-medium heat, and use a wad of kitchen roll to wipe a thin layer of oil round the pan. Spoon a ladle of the batter into the pan. When bubbles start to rise to the surface, flip the pancake with a palette knife, and cook it for another 30-45 seconds on the other side until cooked-through and fluffly.
Serve with a generous dollop of the plum compote, and a teaspoon of creme fraiche.