Turn To Frozen Fruit For The Ultimate Pancake Topping

Stack of pancakes with berry topping and mint
Stack of pancakes with berry topping and mint - Vladislav Noseek/Shutterstock

A golden-brown pancake stack topped with a square pat of yellow butter and drizzled in sweet, sticky maple syrup is probably one of the most iconic culinary images. And while there's no denying the deliciousness of this classically basic breakfast preparation, the real beauty of pancakes may lie in their adaptability.

Maple syrup is probably the go-to add-on for most stacks, but you can really put your imagination to the test when it comes to topping your pancakes — and one possibly slept-on ingredient for the job could actually be found right in your freezer. While there are countless recipes for dropping the likes of fresh berries, apples, or bananas into your classic pancake batter as it cooks, it turns out that frozen fruit can become a condiment that'll help create the flapjacks of your dreams. By easily converting these any-season ingredients into a flavor-packed topping, you open up a new world of tasty combinations that will keep your favorite breakfast staple extra exciting.

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Ways To Make Frozen Fruit Into A Pancake Topping

Close up of pancake stack with strawberry syrup
Close up of pancake stack with strawberry syrup

There are strong arguments for using fresh fruit over frozen fruit in some cases, but the latter has some excellent benefits that make them especially well-suited to the task of making a pancake topping (and may even be more nutritious in some instances). When frozen, the cell walls of your fruit can't contain the water within, which means when you tear open that bag, you get an extra juicy iteration that — with just a little processing — you can drizzle or spread on your short stack.

There are multiple methods to make frozen fruity magic for your pancakes. For starters, you can transform frozen fruit into a compote or a coulis — both of which require little more than some sugar (or another sweetener), and in some cases water and citrus juice. After a few minutes of simmering until reaching your desired consistency, you're good to go.

If you prefer a more viscous topping, you can also add a bit of cornstarch to thicken your concoction. If you'd rather have a looser topping that's free of fruit pieces and resembles more of a classic maple drizzle, you can also make simple syrup by cooking frozen fruit with water and straining out the pulp (which you can set aside to spin into a mixed berry coconut smoothie). These methods each take just minutes and deliver concentrated, juicy fruit toppings that complement the rich, buttery flavor and fluffy, tender texture of your pancakes.

Personalizing Your Pancake Topping

Mango topping on powdered sugar pancakes with mint
Mango topping on powdered sugar pancakes with mint - Romix Image/Shutterstock

Once you've got your method picked out, you can start thinking about personalizing your frozen fruit pancake topping. Any of these finished products can easily be paired with spices and extracts to match with a variety of pancake flavors. For a classic buttermilk batter, vanilla (in extract, powder, or paste form) combined with strawberries gives a shortcake-like flair to your breakfast favorite. For sweet potato pancakes, try grating orange zest into a cranberry fruit topping, and adding a dash of cinnamon for spicy depth. Give chocolate pancakes the fruity treatment with sour cherries, or enjoy earthy rye pancakes with the sweet-tart pop of blueberry or blackberry. For extra flavor and a photo-worthy finish, garnish your stack with a few leaves of fresh mint.

You can also mix some crunchy bits into your topping for texture. Try combining buttery macadamia nuts with pineapple, coconut flakes (which you can definitely toast in your air fryer) with mango, or even mix crumbled-up crispy bacon right into an apple topping for an ultimate sweet-meets-savory all-in-one breakfast bite. Using frozen fruit means you don't have to rely on seasonality to embrace your inspiration, no matter the source.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.