- Blueberry Pancakes
I’m not one for fancy breakfasts.
More often than not, breakfast for me is just a small bowl of cereal or muesli with unsweetened soy milk, and some days it’ll be a slice of bread smeared with light Laughing Cow cheese and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. Other times I wake up just in time for lunch and there’s no breakfast to speak of – something that I’m sure most of you would be familiar with.
This is not to say, however, that I cannot make fancy breakfasts. I just don’t do them for myself. I get lazy, like most people, and all I want to do when I wake up is to grab a bite and collapse on the sofa to watch Ellen dance on the telly. That’s my idea of a therapeutic morning.
Also, there’s no demand for pancakes in my home. No one gets excited or requests or even wakes up in time the days that I make some and I’m not letting anyone eat cold pancakes. Gross.
But when I have a greedy girl staying the night at my place for an emergency before-school-slumber-party, she must be fed till she stops being all pout-y and puppy-eyed and tugging on my arm for food. Even then, I still got a solid kick during the night. Such are the agonies of friendships.
Just a little lemon zest...
It’s blueberry season now, in the places that have seasons (You know, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Not Hot, Very Hot, Wet and Very Wet). Where? I have no idea nor do I particularly care especially since I was primarily concerned with the $1.99 (!!!) per punnet of blueberries that I saw in NTUC the other day. Out of season, they’re easily $5 per punnet. You do the math.
And what people don’t know is that blueberries and lemon were made to be with each other. I have lemon in my fridge all the time. If there isn’t any, I get fidgety and anxious because I wouldn’t feel like my fridge is complete without lemon. You want a salad? I’ll spritz a little lemon juice for the dressing. Carbonara? In goes some lemon zest to brighten the flavour. Scones? You have no idea how fantastic butter and lemon zest taste. They make a world of difference.
Lemon zest is one of those sneaky little miracle ingredients that make people go “Hmm…this tastes good. I wonder what’s in there?”. Like a little coffee in chocolate. Or a light grating of nutmeg in cheese or cream-based dishes.
When buying blueberries, make sure they’re a deep blue, not stuck to each other and not mushy. They’ll last a little more than a week. Avoid stained containers and those with mold. Now blueberry syrups are easy. Put the berries in a pan and heat them up. That’s all that you have to do. No corn starch, gelatin, flour, butter or any thickening agent of any sort. And god forbid that you purchase canned or bottled blueberry syrups when you just need 10 minutes at the stove. I’ll throw my skillet at you.
You just let the natural sugars do their amazing thing under heat as you flip pancakes and hum contentedly while watching the berries start oozing their purple gorgeousness.
Blueberry Syrup. Easy.
Of course, I’ll not leave you without yet another word of advice. Do not, I repeat, do not wait even one second before eating the pancakes. Do not bother to wait till the syrup’s soaked into them, or do the washing up, or even to take pictures – especially to take pictures. Tsk. – because I swear you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t gobble them up while they’re piping hot. Stack ’em up in a glorious golden pile, drench in blueberry and maple syrup and dive right in. Non-fussy, easy, breakfast comfort food at its best.
Makes 6 medium pancakes, serves 2 people
- 2 cups plain flour *
- Zest of 1 lemon (grated lemon peel)
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup milk **
- 200g blueberries
- Maple syrup (optional)
1. In a small pan, cook the blueberries under medium-heat for about 10 minutes. Add some maple syrup to sweeten the sauce if you wish.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk them together.
3. Add the eggs, milk and oil in a separate bowl and mix well.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently till they are just incorporated.
5. In a large non-stick pan on medium heat, melt a small knob of butter to coat the pan and pour as much of the batter as you wish, depending on the size of pancakes you want. Turn down the heat to low-medium (somewhere between low and medium, whatever that’s called). Once bubbles start to break the surface, flip the pancake. Repeat for the rest of the batter.
*Substitute plain flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier, but no less heavy, breakfast.
**Add more milk if you want your batter and pancakes to be thinner.
Note: Don’t worry about lumps in the batter, they won’t affect the result.
Avoid stirring the batter vigorously to prevent the gluten in the flour developing and toughening your pancakes.
Also, once you’ve added the wet ingredients, try not to leave the batter sitting around for too long because the air formed from the reaction with the baking powder will escape and leave you with less fluffy pancakes. If you have to keep extra batter in the fridge, before using the batter again, add about 1/2 tbs of baking powder.