Today I finally made good on a promise I made to my husband close to a month ago: I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast. We’re not usually heavy breakfast people, and pancakes are really heavy.
Well they can be – when they’re not done right. I spent a few weeks trying to track down a recipe that would yield light, fluffy pancakes with a slightly crisp exterior and moist berry-licious interior that wouldn’t turn to purple glop on the griddle.
I found Joanna Pruess’s recipe for the Best Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes in the New York Times Cooking app, and while I thought Pruess was audacious in calling her recipe The Best, I have to tell you – the woman knows whereof she speaks, because this recipe made the tastiest, lightest and most satisfying pancakes I’ve ever cooked up at home.
The only modifications I made to Pruess’s recipe were thus: (1) I cut all the measurements exactly in half since I was cooking for two, which works beautifully for two hungry people or four people who are eating the pancakes with sides. (2) I used 1.5% fat buttermilk, which is the kind I use whenever I do anything with buttermilk. (3) I added about a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. My mom used to make pancakes from Aunt Jemima mix when I was little, and she always added vanilla. Let’s just say I was feeling nostalgic.
Admittedly, these are much better than the pancakes I ate growing up. Or I should say they were much better. They’re all gone now. Paul and I had a delightful breakfast.
I miss fresh summer berries. Even though all the grocery stores in my neighborhood carry blueberries, raspberries and cherries this time of year, the taste just isn’t the same. (Likely because any berry you can find in Brooklyn in January comes from a land very far away).
I could live on blueberries alone in July. In August, wild raspberries abound in my mother’s garden, and I eat them right off the bush. And cherries—well, I’ve been known to eat them by the pound. Berries are wonderful pops of sweetness in your mouth. They taste like summer, too.
It’s a good thing I’ve gotten to like winter vegetables so much, because I’m quite tired of winter fruits. And on this rainy and cold day, I could use a taste of summer.
Enter frozen berries. Yeah, I know—they’re not the same as fresh, but they’re picked and frozen in season. And when you cook them, their flavors concentrate—particularly well with the addition of Grand Marnier and honey—and summer has arrived.
Berry sauce is ridiculously simple to make and takes about 30 minutes of largely unattended time. Four ingredients thrown into a pot, brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer until the mixture cooks down to a texture that’s half jam, half syrup. It’s delicious right out of the pot, or spooned over cake, yogurt or ice cream.
Recipe: Berry Sauce
- 4 cups frozen berries (I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s Very Cherry Berry Blend)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 oz. orange-flavored liqueur (like Grand Marnier), or dark rum
- Pinch of orange zest (optional)
- Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture has boiled for 2 minutes, reduce heat to a simmer for 25 minutes or so, until the mixture has thickened and reduced by half. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- This recipe will yield 1.5 cups. Serving size is 2 tablespoons, so there are 12 servings.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Information:
5 Ways to Serve Berry Sauce
- Spoon over toasted Angel Food Cake.
- Mix with Greek yogurt and top with a sprinkle of granola or sliced almonds.
- Use with fruit and frozen yogurt to make a parfait sundae (pictured).
- Spread on toasted wheat bread with a touch of butter.
- Spread on hot corn muffins, or any muffin. It’s delicious!