It’s that time of year again: one in which we find our fingers blue, our tongues a beautiful shade of blue-purple, and these plump little berries falling off the bushes in to our buckets, our hands, and ultimately, our tummies.
One of our friends owns a blueberry farm (Dexter Blueberry) and it’s officially in-season with amazing blueberries that are ripe for the picking. The bushes are heavy with fruit, the buckets are available for borrow or purchase, and the sunny lanes beckon us to explore. Our friends have a policy of “all you can eat in the field,” which is their way of saying, “No one can not eat while picking!” Our son and his friends are happy to pick berries, run amidst the rows, and generally have fun while we moms collect berries for cobblers, pies, pancakes, and our freezers.
Last year I made several blueberry pies that were to die for; this year, I’ve started the season (which runs through Labor Day) with a cobbler and some pancakes. I should let you know that out of all the breakfast things I enjoy making, pancakes are pretty much at the bottom of the list. In theory, they’re great, but in practicality, they’re quite labor-intensive. By the time the last one is done, I’m sick of babysitting pancake batter in my skillet and the first few I made are soggy and cooling.
But this year, I had a flash of insight. What if… I baked the pancakes? They’d all be ready at the same time, I’d not have to babysit the stove, and…. I got excited at the thought of it. I used to tell people they could do this with a stoneware bar pan when I sold Pampered Chef, but I never actually tried it myself. Finding myself between a rock and a hard spot for dinner, time having dissolved my ability to make a good stroganoff, I figured the worst that could happen was that they might be a bit less appealing than round flapjacks from the skillet.
I pulled out my bar pan (any lipped jellyroll pan will work as well) and liberally greased it with my favorite oil – coconut oil. I mixed up my batter (recipe below) and poured it in the pan. I scattered generous handfuls of blueberries on the raw batter and popped it in the oven for 20 minutes. If you want to combine banana slices with fresh blueberries, the resulting pancakes have been pronounced “Deeeeeeelicious!” by our 7 y/o connoisseur. 😉
As we waited, we could smell the pancakes baking and the scent of blueberries permeated the main level of our home. When I went to the oven to retrieve my dinner plans, I could see how the heat caused these delightful little berries to burst their juicy goodness in blue-tinged pockmarks in my batter. I ran a pizza cutter through the hot pangea-pancake to create rectangular pancakes and served them up. Our son loved them (he loves any pancake, anytime, anywhere) and my husband declared them delicious. I even thought they were pretty darned tasty, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m not a tremendous fan of pancakes. They were light, crispy on the bottom, and other than their unconventional shape, about the most perfect pancake I’d ever set on my tastebuds.
My pancake batter recipe is based on Alton Brown’s recipe, but I’ve alternately used Jiffy Baking Mix when I’ve run out of whole wheat flour. No matter which batter you use, the rest of the directions are the same.
Whole Grain Pancake Batter
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. sea salt
___________________mix above together in a large bowl with a whisk
3 T. sugar or equivalent alternative sweetener (I like agave nectar)
3 whole eggs, beaten
¼ c. butter or coconut oil, melted
2 c. buttermilk (if you don’t have it on hand, use 2 c. milk and add 3T vinegar or lemon juice to make a buttermilk substitute)
____________________________mix above together briskly until sugar is dissolved, & eggs & buttermilk are incorporated.
Add wet ingredients to dry, mix well. Allow the mixture to sit for 4-5 minutes to induce a rise before pouring it in the prepared bar pan, sprinkling with blueberries, and baking for 20 minutes at 400℉. Serve with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, or powdered sugar, as desired.