Have you seen the ad where the man weeps because stonefruit season is nearly over? It may be a little dramatic, but that's how I feel at the end of summer. Nectarines are my absolute favourite and knowing their time in the sun is almost done is more than a little upsetting. I guess their demise signifies the end of barbecues, beers in the sun and icecream in cones for another year, so it's not all about healthy fruit.
It's not too much of a problem if you use firm nectarines in this recipe. Given you're sauteeing the fruit, they soften in the pan and caramelise nicely no matter how ripe they are. You could also use peaches in this dish - try to find a freestone variety so they're easier to cut up.
You might read "whipped butter" and reconsider making this dish. If you're anti-butter, this is probably the wrong place for you. By all means go easy on it but this dish really needs the moisture and richness the butter provides. The vanilla scent doesn't hurt either. And you can tell yourself it's whipped so it's mostly air. That would be mostly wrong, but whatever helps you sleep at night...
Matt and I enjoyed this in our sunny backyard one Sunday morning recently. In typical Melbourne fashion, it was spitting when I set the table, but the sun shone brightly as soon as we sat down to eat. Cup of tea, shot of coffee and fruity pancakes: a fabulous summer farewell.
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
Whipped vanilla butter
100g butter, softened
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
To make the pancakes, whisk together the ingredients briefly. Try not to over mix or your pancakes will taste like old boots. Chill for 30 minutes while you make your other components.
Cut your nectarines into eight pieces. Heat a heavy frypan over medium heat and add the nectarines. Caramelise on both sides, then add the butter and sugar. Cook and coat the nectarines.
To make the whipped butter, mix all three ingredients in the mixer on high until the butter is pale and creamy.
Heat a frypan over low heat and add a pat of butter. Spoon 1/4 of the pancake batter in the pan and cook until the underside is golden. Flip over and cook until a similar colour. Repeat with the remaining batter, using more butter when required.
To serve, top the pancakes with the nectarines and a quenelle of butter.