Monday, July 23, 2012

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

"...Almonzo loved light, fluffy, buckwheat pancakes with plenty of molasses...The three pancakes on the griddle were holding their bubbles in tiny holes near their crisping edges.  He flipped them over neatly and watched their brown-patterned sides rise in the middle.  The good smell of them mixed with the good smells of fried salt pork and boiling coffee..."  (The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, ISBN # 0590488198)

Just like Almonzo Wilder, homemade pancakes are one of my favorite comfort foods.  I grew up thinking you had to buy store-brand mixes to make pancakes.  For years I tried to make good pancakes without success.  Then I grew brave enough to try pancake recipes in my cookbooks.  Making pancakes from scratch was sooo much better than store bought mixes, even if it took just a little more trouble.

The key to making pancakes is to have a consistency of a cake batter when you're ready to pour out the mixture.  They can't be too thin or too thick--it should pour easily but not too fast.  As the tops get plenty of bubbles and the edges firm up a bit, you can turn the pancakes over.

My husband is a better fry cook than I am and flips pancakes perfectly.  I have forced myself to practice until my pancakes turned out just as good.  So practice does make perfect.

Also, it really helps to invest in a nice, long electric griddle because the pancakes turn out better (cooks more evenly) and you can make a bunch at once and get done faster.  (I would even consider bringing one to camp outs!)

This recipe comes from my Southern Living Cookbook (ISBN # 084871816X).  It mentions you can keep the batter in the fridge for up to a week.  It also includes a homemade syrup recipe.  The recipe calls for buttermilk but I mix up powdered buttermilk instead because it's easier for me to keep on hand than buttermilk.  You can add 1cup of blueberries (like the pancakes shown above) or chopped pecans to the batter.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Maple Syrup 
Print Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk (2 cups is always too much for my batter; start with 1-1/2 cups and add more 1 T. at a time if needed)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Homemade Maple Syrup
Combine first 5 ingredients; stir well (be careful not to stir too much or the pancakes will not be fluffy).  Combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle.  Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn and cook other side.  (Store unused batter in a tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 1 week.  If refrigerated batter is too thick, add milk or water to reach desired consistency.)  Serve pancakes warm with Homemade Maple Syrup.  Yield:  18 (4-inch pancakes).

Homemade Maple Syrup Print Recipe
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; add sugar and flavoring.  Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat.  Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.  (Store leftover syrup in a tightly covered container in refrigerator.)  Yield:  about 2 cups.  (Per 3 pancakes and 1/3 cup syrup:  Calories 566; Fat 11.9g; Cholesterol 77mg; Sodium 612mg)

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