Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pancakes for dinner

I came home from the farmers' market this weekend with a bunch of blueberries, far too many to eat plain. Thus, blueberry pancakes for dinner. It could have been pancakes for breakfast, I guess, but I rarely seem to be that on the ball that early in the day.

blueberry pancakes

I make my mom's pancakes. Always. I never stray. My mom's pancakes are one of Those Things. To me, they are the only pancakes. Bisquick? Dear lord, no. The light and fluffy pancakes at your favorite brunch place? Still going to have to go with a no. I love pancakes, but I love only these pancakes.

blueberry pancakes

I don't know what exactly it is about them. The recipe is simple enough. So is the method. They aren't particularly "light and fluffy," which seems to be what people always say they are looking for in a pancake. I mean, they're not heavy and dense or anything, but I've had lighter and fluffier (and much worse, in my opinion). And yet, I consider these the best pancakes ever.

Blueberry pancakes (with a beermosa)

(That beverage up there...that is a beermosa. Like a mimosa but, you know, with beer. Inspired by the beermosa Adam had with brunch once at Handlebar in the old 'hood.)

My mom's pancakes


1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
milk (approximately 1 1/4 cup)
blueberries (or other mix-ins such as chocolate chips)


Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add oil, egg, and about 3/4 cup milk. Stir. Add more milk as needed. You want the batter to be pourable but not runny. It usually works out to about 1 1/4 cup for me, give or take a bit. Sometimes my first pancakes come out too thick and I have to add more milk to the batter so the next ones will come out better. It's an art, not a science.

Heat an electric skillet to 325 degrees. (You can use a regular skillet, of course, but I never have. Mom always used the electric for pancakes, so I never bothered trying anything else.) When skillet is hot, add about 1/4 tablespoon butter and spread it around with spatula. Pour batter in 4- to 5-inch circles. Then throw your blueberries into the poured pancakes. As you cook, bubbles will begin to appear in the batter. Once there are a lot of bubbles all over (see photo above), use spatula to flip the pancakes. Cooked side should be golden (see photo above). Continue on other side until pancakes are cooked through (this should only be a couple of minutes).

Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

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