Friday, October 15, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Blueberry Sauce

You will learn if you read this blog with any regularity, that I LOVE breakfast, specifically pancakes and waffles.  Well, also scones and biscuits, and pretty much any other high carb item that you can imagine would be great with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee -- OMG! Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Donuts! -- but I digress.  Lately, however, my interest has been strongly leaning towards pancakes and waffles and the vast amount of varieties there seem to be.  I was stunned, for example, at the very large number of books on the subject.  I've checked out as many as possible from the library in order to give them my personal review so I know just which one(s) I want to add to my ever-growing collection of cookbooks. My plan, of course, is to try EVERYTHING! So far I'm leaning toward the Dorie Greenspan book, Pancakes: From Morning to Midnight, I mean how wrong can you ever go with Dorie?  But I guess the reason this one appeals so much is the nostalgia factor.  The thought of pancakes for dinner takes me back to my young days when my father would go out of town and my mother, too weary from her day to make a big dinner for the two of us, would make pancakes and bacon.  It was one of my favorite meals and always softened the blow of having my dad leave town.

In the meantime, when I want something that I know will be great, I turn to Ina. Ina Garten, that is, a.k.a The Barefoot Contessa, who has not once let me down. This morning’s breakfast was a recipe of hers that appeared as a part of a column she wrote for Good Housekeeping Magazine. The pancakes were delicious! Light, fluffy, beautiful little works of art that lifted off of the Griddler in berry-studded perfection. The sauce was equally good, though considering the blueberries we’ve been buying this time of year have been a bit on the tart side, I did double the amount of sugar. The recipe made a pile of pancakes, the rest of which are now in the freezer for future mornings when I want pancakes, but not the effort it takes to make them.

Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Blueberry Sauce

2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon cornstarch
3 ½ cups blueberries
5 tablespoons sugar (divided)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon grated orange zest*
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place cookie sheet in oven.

Prepare blueberry sauce: In 1-quart saucepan, combine water, cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups blueberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar, and heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until berries burst. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.

Prepare pancakes: In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, salt, and remaining sugar. Stir in buttermilk, butter, and eggs just until flour mixture is moistened. Stir in remaining berries. Lightly grease griddle or nonstick 12-inch skillet; heat over medium heat until very hot. Drop batter by 1/4 cups onto hot griddle, spreading batter gently to make 4-inch rounds. Cook pancakes 2 to 3 minutes. (Pancakes are ready to turn when batter begins to set, bubbles start to burst, and edges look dry.) Turn pancakes over, using a wide spatula. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, until puffy and undersides are a rich golden brown. Transfer pancakes to cookie sheet in oven; keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing griddle if needed. Serve pancakes with blueberry sauce.

*The orange zest is my own addition. I tend to think that all pancake recipes benefit from a tiny bit of citrus zest, either orange or lemon.

Have a great morning!

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