Today was a dreary, drizzly, kind of cool, almost Fall kind of day... the perfect kind of day for comfort food. And so it became clear, on my drive home, that I should make pancakes. And I should make them with a wonderfully decadent blueberry sauce. And so I did.
And it was the best decision I'd made all day. Even the dogs agree!
Now, there's really not much to making pancakes and I would assume that most people have their favorite recipe. So, I'm not going to tell you how I used Aunt Jemima mix, added and egg, some milk, and a little oil and had the best pancakes I've ever made. But what I can do is give you a few tips and tricks to help you get great pancakes on your plate every time.
- If you can get my dad to make them for you, do it. He's the best pancake maker ever. Seriously.
- If you can't, follow these simple rules...
- Make sure your pan is hot enough. Heat it over medium to medium-high heat. Not too hot or your pancakes will be crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle. Yuck. A good trick is to sprinkle water on the pan. When the water bubbles up and sizzles away, your pan is hot enough.
- Don't crowd your pancakes. Depending on the size of your pan, only pour the batter for two or three at a time.
- Let them be! Your batter will bubble up and you'll be able to see the edges start to form. Only then should you flip them. And when you do, they'll be a beautiful golden brown.
Now don't get me wrong, I love a good pancake with butter and syrup just like the next girl, but sometimes you just want a little something extra. Take a look at this and tell me if that's not a little something extra...
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups berries or other ripe fruit - apples, pears, bananas, peaches, etc...
Combine 1/2 cup water with the sugar and butter in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, shaking and stirring, until the mixture is thick and syrupy but not browned.
Toss in the fruit and cook over low heat until the fruit begins to break up and release its juices, about 2 minutes for berries, longer for other fruit. Press fruit through a fine-mesh strainer or run it through a food mill to puree and remove any skins or seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature. This sauce keeps well, refrigerated, for up to a week.
I had no doubt that I'd find the recipe I needed in my How to Cook Everything cookbook. That book should seriously be in everyone's cookbook collection.
I followed the recipe exactly (with the exception of halving it) and it came out perfectly. Oh, I also didn't press the fruit through a strainer or puree it as I wanted some whole fruit on my pancakes. But other than that, I followed the other steps to a tee.
Getting the butter / sugar / water mixture to thicken took about 5 minutes after the butter melted. As you can see in the pictures above, it'll all melt, then foam, and then thicken. I added the blueberries and tossed them around for about two minutes and then took the pan off the heat and let it set until my pancakes were done.
It was easy and then end result had me wishing I hadn't fed the rest of the pancakes to the dogs.