Thursday, February 16, 2012

National Pancake Day Recipes: Blueberry and Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • a tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • zest of 1½ to 2 lemons
  • blueberries (quantity is totally up to you)
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk, plus more if needed (see note below)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • oil or butter to coat your griddle or skillet (I used butter)

1. Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to combine.

2. Whisk egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and melted butter into the buttermilk until combined. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in buttermilk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (a few lumps should remain and batter may be thick). Do not over mix. Allow batter to sit for about 5 minutes. Batter will be very thick, but if it's too thick to work with, gently stir in a little more buttermilk. It should be thick and lumpy but not biscuit-dough'like.

3. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes; add 1 teaspoon oil or butter and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. If using an electric griddle, you can set the heat to the second highest or highest setting (between 350 and 400 degrees). Pour or scoop batter onto your skillet or griddle and spread out if needed with the back of a ladle or spoon to flatten; sprinkle blueberries on top. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Serve immediately with butter and warm maple syrup, and repeat with remaining batter.

Note: When fresh blueberries are not in season, frozen blueberries are a good alternative. To make sure that frozen berries do not bleed, rinse them under cool water in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear, then spread them on a paper towel-lined plate to dry. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use 2 cups of milk plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and allow that mixture to sit for about 15 minutes until its slightly thickened.
The pancake batter is very thick, but once you scoop some on your electric griddle or nonstick skillet, you should be able to easily spread the batter out so that they’re flatter. I used an electric griddle (Presto brand) and the highest heat setting on mine is 400 degrees. I cooked these pancakes between the 350 and 400 degree setting — this allowed the batter to actually cook without either side of the pancake overcooking and burning. If you’re using a nonstick skillet, just cook them over medium heat so you don’t burn them. Take your time with these because the batter is so thick and needs an extra minute or 3 to cook thru. As usual, you’ll know when they’re ready to flip when you start to see the edges set a bit, and air bubbles form all over the pancake and it’s golden brown.

You can keep any leftover batter for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, just make sure you cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

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