Chef Gordon Wright takes diners beyond organic and veld-raised food to the slow tastes that tell a story of the Karoo terroir around Graaff-Reinet. Try his Baked Pancake Roll with Pear and Brandy Sauce.
- Pear and Brandy Sauce
- 125ml sugar
- 2 hard pears, sliced (not too thin; about the thickness of Grandpa’s thumbnail!)
- 180ml good brandy
- 300g cake flour
- pinch of salt
- 120g sugar
- 6 eggs
- 650ml milk
- 65ml brandy
- 200ml fresh cream
- castor sugar
- Pancake filling
- 300ml milk
- 85g cake flour
- 135g sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10ml cold butter
- 2 eggs, whisked
- To make the pear sauce, caramelise the sugar in a heavy-base saucepan until golden brown. Add the pear slices and stir gently to ensure the slices don’t break. Once mixed together, add the brandy and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce becomes syrupy. Set aside.
- To make the pancakes, sift the cake flour, salt and sugar together. Whisk the eggs well and add 60ml of the milk. Add the brandy. Slowly add the cake flour and then add the rest of the milk and the cream. Whisk together until the batter is the consistency of thickish cream. Once the batter is ready, make batches of thin pancakes in a suitable pan and set aside to cool.
- To make the filling, gently heat the milk (don’t let it boil!). Mix all the dry ingredients together and grate the butter into the mixture. Mix well. Slowly add the warm milk. Add the eggs and heat the mixture gently in a double boiler, stirring continuously until creamy and thick. Set aside to cool.
- Right, now comes the fun part. Place one cooled pancake on a large sheet of plastic wrap (about 30 x 40 cm). Spread a thin layer of the cooled pancake filling on top, then add another pancake, overlapping slightly, and another layer of filling. Repeat until you have a stack of pancakes about 10cm high. Carefully roll into a tight long roll, similar to a Swiss roll. Cut off the ends to give it a uniform shape, wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and set aside. Continue doing this until you have used all the pancakes and the filling and have a couple of rolls. Refrigerate the rolls you want to use that day and freeze the spares for another time.
- When ready to assemble the dessert, preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the pancake rolls from the fridge once they have set and remove the plastic wrap. Slice into the required number of portions and lay them flat on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle with a little castor sugar and bake for about 15 minutes until the edges go all brown and crispy, and the top is caramelised.
- Gently reheat the pear and brandy sauce and place a dollop on each plate. When the pancakes are done, remove from the oven and place a slice on each dollop of sauce. Top off with a scoop of ice cream and serve immediately with a look on your face that says, “Please people, I do this every day!”
Wine suggestion: Peter Bayly Cape White Port