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Chris Hennes

Blueberry Pancakes

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Pancakes get a lot of love around here. Of course, there is The pancake topic to end all pancake topics, plus also Pancakes, how do I love thee? , Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast: Pick One., and more. But I think that blueberry pancakes are both unique enough in construction, and just awesome enough in general, to warrant a separate discussion.

One of the tricks with blueberry pancakes is that their minimum thickness is governed by the size of the berries: if you have big berries, you are going to wind up with thick pancakes. I find this necessitates some changes to the batter structure so that you achieve the best texture.

I also like to skip any vanilla extract, but add a little (or sometimes A LOT) of lemon zest.

What are your thoughts on blueberry pancakes? How do they differ from your normal pancake recipe, if they differ?

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It is impossible to have too many blueberries in a blueberry pancake.

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I usually have one pint of blueberries to 1 1/2 cups flour, which I think is plenty. More than that and I have trouble getting the pancakes to cook through, the blueberries slow things down I think.

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Heresy, perhaps, but I'm not a fan of blueberries in pancakes. Not necessarily because the pancakes need to be thick--not a bad thing in and of itself, which I accomplish by mixing a glob of sour cream into the batter--but mainly because the berries turn into little lava balls. I prefer them scattered over the top, along with some sliced strawberries.

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I like a buttermilk type batter, with a bit of orange zest. Alternatively, a little vanilla extract and some freshly grated nutmeg is nice too. I do agree with Alex, though...berries on the top rather than in the batter itself does retain the purity of the pancake itself and I am increasingly leaning that way.

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I like a buttermilk type batter, with a bit of orange zest. Alternatively, a little vanilla extract and some freshly grated nutmeg is nice too. I do agree with Alex, though...berries on the top rather than in the batter itself does retain the purity of the pancake itself and I am increasingly leaning that way.

I agree. I love having choices, and with the berries on top I can have it both ways. It's like having two...two!...two pancakes in one!!

I like the nutmeg idea, too; I often put a few grindings in my blueberry cobbler, but never thought of that for pancakes. I just shopped the GR Farmers Market today, so tomorrow morning...

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I love them, but when I've tried to make them at home, by the time the batter was cooked through the berries had burst and turned the pancakes purple and soggy. I tried a lighter batter, but it didn't hold the berries together.

Can you make them during the winter with frozen berries? that's the season I crave pancakes.

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When I make blueberry pancakes I make sure to use a batter with a lot of loft. And I tend to pick out the smaller berries from the box. I agree that the really big berries are hard to work with in a pancake. Fussy, right?

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I love them, but when I've tried to make them at home, by the time the batter was cooked through the berries had burst and turned the pancakes purple and soggy. I tried a lighter batter, but it didn't hold the berries together.

How are you incorporating the berries? I usually put the batter into the pan and wait for it to cook partially on the bottom, then scatter the berries over the still-wet top. Sometimes I'll press them in, if necessary. They'll often still burst, but they don't usually turn the pancakes purple and soggy.

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Blueberries on top are nice though they roll all over the place and expertly parry off fork thrusts. They also taste differently fresh than when cooked into a pancake.

Blueberry pancakes are pancakes with the blueberries cooked inside.

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My absolute favorite pancake recipe is the blueberry buttermilk pancake recipe from the July 2007 BA issue (it's on the epicurious site). I use it as my basic recipe and do as mkayahara does, add the blueberries (or chocolate chips, etc., if using) to the half set pancakes on the griddle. I reduce the sugar to 1-1/2 tbs and add cinnamon to the mixture. Other than that, I follow the recipe. These pancakes are extremely light and fluffy.

-Karen

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I make my pancakes for lunch, not breakfast. This way I can use the berries I just picked at the local farm. From field to fork in less than 1 hour, how can you beat that? My 5 month old girl and I picked a couple of quarts this morning. These will go towards this years jam production.

I typically use the whole wheat pancake recipes from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Companion cookbook, but with buttermilk. The holy grail though, is a blueberry buckwheat pancake. I am still trying to perfect the recipe. I second the technique of sprinkling the berries into the just poured batter rather than mixing them into the batter. Mixing them into the batter runs the risk of overdeveloping the gluten.

During the lean winter months, I might slather blueberry jam on my pancakes instead of syrup.

Dan

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I make my pancakes for lunch, not breakfast. This way I can use the berries I just picked at the local farm. From field to fork in less than 1 hour, how can you beat that?

I went out and picked a gallon of wild blueberries today, they're a couple weeks early for the area this year... maybe I'll have blueberry pancakes tonight. Just out of curiosity, I bought a small bag of barley pancake mix (ingedients: barley and wheat flours that were stone milled about 4 hours from where I live, baking powder, sugar, salt) at the farmer's market a couple weeks ago that I've been meaning to try.

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I love them, but when I've tried to make them at home, by the time the batter was cooked through the berries had burst and turned the pancakes purple and soggy. I tried a lighter batter, but it didn't hold the berries together.

How are you incorporating the berries? I usually put the batter into the pan and wait for it to cook partially on the bottom, then scatter the berries over the still-wet top. Sometimes I'll press them in, if necessary. They'll often still burst, but they don't usually turn the pancakes purple and soggy.

You've probably identified the problem--bad technique! I've been folding the berries into the batter then pouring the mixture into the skillet. Duh. Many thanks.

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I prefer my berries separate. I like to macerate them in a syrup or liqueur of some description and spoon them over. Then a f off dollop of whipped cream, some fresh grated nutmeg and some fresh blueberries to finish. Yum.

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I find a cornmeal batter (and yeah, you can use a box of Jiffy) is the solution. The berries soften the batter and the batter stands up to the berries.

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I also scatter the blueberries on the pancakes just as the batter is starting to set on the bottom. The blueberries sink into the pancakes without bursting and turning everything blue.

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I am not quite grasping the problem with just mixing the blueberries right into the batter, which is what I always do. What's going on with yours when you do that?

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After having lived in Alaska, where blueberry sourdough pancakes are ubiquitous in August, when the wild blueberries ripen, everything else seems second rate.

I haven't made sourdough pancakes in a long while, and the store-bought blueberries don't have the same flavor as the ones you pick yourself.

But still, I suppose I should give it a go just to see how close I can come to those days of breakfast heaven.

____________________


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Gotta cook 'em in the cakes. How else do you get that heated intensity you need?

I don't get the problem with incorporating berries into the batter, either. However, I always beat the whites separately and incorporate them into the batter for the extra loft that Katie mentions above.

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I've had most success if I press in the berries as the first side is cooking. Perhaps my cast iron pan isn't perfectly seasoned, but when any berries burst on the hot skillet they tend to mess up the surface and get the next pancakes sticky. So, using a lofty recipe, small berries AND adding the berries after pouring the pancake batter in the pan seems to insure whole berries that burst in the mouth instead of sizzling in the pan. I admit this is extremely fussy. This is why I don't make blueberry pancakes very often, even though I like them far better than plain pancakes. No one in my family besides me ever seems to have the patience to make pancakes, and the pancake maker doesn't get much chance to slow down, enjoy them and read the paper, so we usually eat toast for breakfast.

I can see how folding in egg whites separately would help get a rise out the pancakes but I'm too lazy to do that.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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Gazing at a box of blueberries while drinking my morning coffee led to a vioklent craving for blueberry pancakes. Had to have them, immediately.

DSCF0908.JPG

This is my lazy version, using boxed multigrain mix from Trader Joe's. A little messy, but so good.

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I also scatter the blueberries on the pancakes just as the batter is starting to set on the bottom. The blueberries sink into the pancakes without bursting and turning everything blue.

I make my blueberry pancakes the same way and they turn out great. I do make sure that the height level of pancake batter equals the height size of the blueberries so they are not protruding out, but are embedded within the batter, thus preventing any bursting. 

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Blueberries in Japan can be a bit tasteless in cakes and pancakes...I like to sub them with tiny Delaware grapes. Love the sharp snap!

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The big blue berries are too big and too sweet for pancakes. They are too soft cooked. They are for fresh eating. Blueberries for many of us are too expensive. Don't waste them on panckes. 

 

The hardware cloth from HD is perfect for a blueberry sorter. Very easy to make.

 

dcarch

 

 

blueberry4.jpg

 

blueberry3.jpg

 

blueberry2.jpg

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