In my last post, I wrote the "Once upon a time" story, so I almost laughed out loud Tuesday night when the first prompt of my writing workshop (check out the link to see the awesome work Write Around Portland does) was........"Once upon a time". Not feeling any fresh inspiration, but wanting to expand further upon my story of my incurable u-pick habit, I picked up the story where I left off.... before the siren song (aka Sauvie Island Farm's Facebook page) lured me on Monday with their status update, "Early Blues are in! Handful of red AND yellow raspberries!" Despite ominous clouds in the sky and a few rain sprinkles here and there, my fellow addicts and I were determined to pick berries, rain or shine. And this was the beautiful sight before our eyes:
The rain stopped and the sun even shone (the heavens are in favor of my u-pick obsession?). Of course, after we left, we had a rare-for-Portland thunderstorm with intense downpours and even hail. But since I was already safely inside with 4 lbs of blueberries, 3 lbs of raspberries, and who-knows-how-many-lbs of the last Hood strawberries, I cared not. I had blueberry pancakes on the brain. I had buttermilk leftover from my last berry-oat-scone trial (still a work in progress towards the tastiest scone), so I enlisted a trusty basic pancake recipe and spruced it up a bit so it wouldn't be boring. These are definitely anything but boring: a gazillion blueberries nestled inside a fluffy cocoon of pancake-y goodness, and a hint of lemon and cinnamon, so you know it's good.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus extra for greasing the pan)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels (don’t want to add extra moisture to the batter!)
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon).
2. In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and lemon zest.
3. Heat your griddle over medium heat (I have a long rectangular griddle pan, so I set both back and front burners to medium, adjusting the larger-sized burner setting down slightly).
4. Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until incorporated- DON'T OVERMIX! Tough pancakes are sad. If the batter has lumps, that's just fine.
5. Ditch the whisk and use a spatula to fold the blueberries into the batter (see above for not over-mixing.)
6. Brush the griddle with a little extra butter. If it sizzles, it's ready for pancakes! Pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the griddle, spacing evenly apart so they won't run into each other (my long griddle fits 3 pancakes that are 5-6 inches in diameter). Cook the pancakes on the first side for about 3 minutes, until the edges are set and the bottom is golden brown. You'll also know they're ready to flip when the little air bubbles forming on top of the batter start to pop. Cook on the second side for another 2-3 minutes, until brown.
7. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve piping hot with butter and real maple syrup to taste. Makes 10 (5-6 inch) pancakes.