Two summers ago, when I was still a free range nurse traveling the country, I took a summer assignment in Denver. My family came with me and we lived in a 17th story condo uptown, one mile from Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, my daughter’s favorite baseball team. While there, we were able to take several side trips around Colorado and Utah as well as take in a couple of baseball games and a Bronco’s football game. John took Sydney to UC – Boulder to look around campus because that is where she wants to go to college. I met a lot of wonderful people working at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital. It was a fantastic summer full of good times, good people and good food….did someone say good food?
One of our favorite places to eat was Snooze near the ballpark. The restaurant was only open for breakfast and lunch, but oh, what a breakfast! I first noticed the restaurant while driving around downtown. The line to get in was out the door and around the corner. It reminded me of the line for Mama’s in San Francisco and that was enough to get me to try it. A few days later, I was walking around in the early morning taking pictures and decided to go in before it got too busy. They had just opened and I was the only customer. Perr (pronounced pear) came over and started chatting with me and found out I was from Austin. It turns out he had lived in Austin for a number of years. After conversing about the merits of Texas barbecue and Whole Foods and all things Austin, we began talking about the menu as I tried to decide what to eat. Perr mentioned that the pineapple upside down pancakes where the most popular and best tasting menu item, but I was in the mood for something savory instead of sweet, so I ended up ordering the pulled pork eggs benedict. Perr, insisting that I’d like the pancakes, offered to buy one for me to try. A few minutes later I found myself eating the best pancake I had ever had. It wasn’t too sweet, but had just enough sweetness to make it an indulgence. I quickly pushed aside my eggs, which were delicious in their own right, in order to devote my stomach space to this one perfect pancake. Snooze and that pancake became a weekly occurrence that summer.
Fast forward a year and I began searching for the recipe for that delicious pancake with no success, but persistence payed off. A few months later and I came across the recipe for the components, but Snooze was tight lipped about the pancake recipe, saying only that it was a buttermilk pancake. That was all I needed. The next Sunday, it was on! Here’s the result and let me just say, it was fabulous and every bit as good as I remember! It is a little time intensive, but I hope you’ll try it. You won’t regret it.
Snooze Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes
- 12 (8 inch) pancakes (recipe to follow)
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, skinned, cored and chopped into small chunks (definitely use fresh, you won’t regret it)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (4-oz) stick of unsalted butter, softened but not melted
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
blend ingredients together and set aside in refrigerator.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla, heat to boiling. Turn down heat and continue to slowly simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into a small pitcher for serving. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk (at room temperature)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- butter or non-stick cooking spray for the griddle
Pulse the first five ingredients together in a food processor or sift together. Whisk the last three ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until the batter is incorporated. Do NOT over mix. The batter should be thick, not runny. If it appears runny, add some flour. Set the batter aside to rest for five minutes.
On a pre-heated (to 350 degrees F) griddle, ladle about 1/2 cup batter and sprinkle a heaping tablespoon or so of pineapple chunks onto the cooking pancake. When the pancake is ready to be flipped (edges of pancake appear dry and surface of batter is no longer glossy), sprinkle a dash or two of granulated sugar onto the pineapple and then turn; this will caramelize the pineapple side.
Place finished pancake on a plate in a warm oven and repeat process until all batter is used.
Stack two pancakes and serve with a dollop of cinnamon butter on top and the vanilla créme over top.
Buttermilk pancake recipe from Alton Brown.
Snooze recipe from Adam Schlegel, owner, printed in the Rocky Mountain News.