I've been doing myself some research on pancakes lately. I suppose the reason for a sudden increase in our pancake consumption is because little Henry well, loves them so much, but two, it's a nice change from his cereal, toast, applesauce, and pea routine. Pancakes hide egg, pancakes can hid ricotta cheese, pancakes can even disguise zucchini into something fabulous.
Anywho. With my "research" and all I've been finding a common thread throughout different websites on essential components to a delicious pancake. And I quote:
-lumps in the batter
-dry and wet ingredients mixed together last minute and just barely combined
-egg whites beaten to stiff peaks, folded gently into batter
-pancake griddle on medium-low
-pancakes are only flipped once (perhaps you're OCD about flipping like me??)through-out cooking process
-in the case of blueberry pancakes, blueberries are added not into the batter, but onto each separate pancake as it bakes on the griddle
So I experimented tonight upon what I discovered. And it worked. They were amazing! Light, fluffy, and totally better than my hockey puck versions last time. Believe you me- lumps in the batter, the flip-it-once method... I'm sold.
My husband and I were discussing the difference in taste and texture when using all-purpose flour vs. whole wheat flour in a pancake- I insisted that whole wheat takes a certain delicious-ness out of them, that the all-purpose flour, a "purist" method, for pancakes at least, is optimal. He disagreed and said the whole wheat didn't bother him a bit.
We've been snowed in our respective homes here in Philly like Arctic polar bears for the last few days and I know that I'll emerge (eventually) from our winter isolation about 10 lbs bigger with all the bored-eating that's been done. Hence, I couldn't resist tonight putting whole-wheat flour in these pancakes to make myself feel a bit better.
But they really would be even more glorious with all-purpose flour. Just saying.
Wild Blueberry Pancakes with Compote and Maple Butter Syrup
1 cup wild blueberries (or normal ones), fresh or frozen*
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of orange zest
In a small saucepan, combine ingredients, and bring to a boil. If it needs more liquid, add water by tablespoonfuls (if you are using frozen berries, you shouldn't need to add much water at ALL!). Stir until somewhat thickened, remove from heat, and let chill in fridge until it's thickened more.
1 1/2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp sugar
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)
2 eggs, separeted
6 Tbsp butter, seperated
1 cup fresh or frozen wild (or normal) blueberries
Turn on griddle to medium-low heat. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a large bowl with a whisk-attachment, whip the 2 egg whites until medium stiff peaks form.
Melt 3 Tbsp of butter. Add to buttermilk. Whisk egg yolks and stir into the buttermilk/butter mixture. Add this liquid gently into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in whipped egg whites.
Take 1 Tbsp butter and melt all over the griddle. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter onto griddle, and sprinkle blueberries on top. Flip when the underside is cooked. Meanwhile...
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup (more or less) maple syrup
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add syrup, bring to a simmer/boil, stirring, and remove from heat. Use on hot pancakes.
*I get our wild blueberries from Trader Joes. Not because the cost is anything more or less, but we just prefer the littleness of them. Promise I'm not a blueberry snob here.