Thursday, 27 August 2009
When I was growing up, my mother only ever made pancakes once a year, on Shrove Tuesday in February, Pancake Day. It was a day we looked forward to all year and we would gorge ourselves on them until we couldn't eat any more. We never ever had them for breakfast, ever . . . and we never ever had anything but ordinary plain pancakes, there was never anything added . . . like buttermilk or blueberries . . .
When my own children were growing up I think I made pancakes every Saturday morning for years and years. I began to appreciate why my mother had only made them once a year. It's an arduous job standing at the stove for what seems like hours, flipping pancake after pancake, only to watch them consumed and inhaled as soon as you scoop them out of the pan! But then motherhood has it's rewards and so you do it . . . and I always made buttermilk pancakes and often added blueberries, much to my children's delight.
If I hadn't added blueberries, I served them up with a big bowl of chilled tinned sliced peaches. Oh, they are lovely spooned over top and covered with lashings of maple syrup . . .
As an adult, pancakes are a treat that I splurge on every once in a while. Never for breakfast . . . I am never all that hungry first thing in the morning, a bowl of cereal usually does me fine, although I do confess to occasionally indulging in an entirely hedonistic fry up . . . Pancakes for supper suits me very well.
Perhaps its a throwback to my childhood . . . or not. But I do like them for supper every now and then. The other day I sprinkled blueberries and granola over top as I cooked them. It was lovely . . . sweet and berry-like and scrummily crunchy and nutty. It almost felt like dessert . . .
Especially when I added the butter and the maple syrup. Right now I am in live with Dorset's Honey Granola, which was perfect as there isn't huge lumps of nuts like my homemade version. Oh they were lovely, and I am thinking now that a dollop of greek yoghurt and some honey drizzled over would have been even lovelier than the maple syrup and butter . . .
Be warned however, the granola will soften upon standing so you will want to eat every scrumptious bit on the day/night. Don't let your imagination stop there though . . . a cooking pancake is the perfect canvas for lots of things . . .
dried cherries and chocolate chips . . . chopped toasted pecans or walnuts . . . sliced bananas and flaked coconut . . . slices peaches, pears and cardamom . . . chopped apples, sultanas and cinnamon . . . fresh raspberries and blackberries . . . dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips . . . poppy seeds and lemon zest . . . why not let your imagination go wild!!
*Blueberry and Granola Buttermilk Pancakes*
Makes about nine 6-inch pancakes
I love buttermilk pancakes full stop, but when you top each one with a sprinkle of blueberries and granola they take on an entirely new life. You get the sweetness of the berries, and then the crunch of the granola. Healthy, healthy, healthy! With the anti-oxidants from the berries and all the vitamins and goodness from the granola you almost feel like mother earth herself! Of course a pat of butter and some pure maple syrup complete the picture!
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS white sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
(I use only free range organic)
3 cups buttermilk
4 TBS butter, melted
plus butter for greasing the skillet
a small punnet of fresh blueberries
about 1 cup of crunchy granola
Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Beat the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter together. Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. The mixture will have small to medium lumps and that is ok, it's what you want.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat until very hot. Brush with some butter, and then ladle in about 1/2 cup of the pancake batter. Sprinkle with a few blueberries and about a TBS of granola. When the surface of the pancake is covered with tiny bubbles and they appear dry around the edges, flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown. Place on a heatproof plate in a warm oven to keep warm while you cook the remainder of the pancakes. (Brush the pan with a bit more butter each time) Serve hot with butter and Maple Syrup.