Actually, the butter is on there only for the picture (I was all excited to cut a heart-shaped piece…I’m so goofy); the pancakes are for Alex, and he doesn’t like butter.
He does, however, like – no, love – blueberry pancakes. So I usually keep a bag of blueberries in the freezer, and a jug of maple syrup in the fridge, so that we’re ready to go when the craving strikes.
Julia, on the other hand, isn’t really a fan of blueberry pancakes OR maple syrup. So when I make pancakes, I make a huge batch, and do half plain and half with blueberries, and that way everyone is happy.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a blend of a few different recipes I’ve tried over the years. I’ve taken my favorite elements of each, and this is what I’ve come up with.
Now, part of the influence for these pancakes comes from the folks at Cook’s Illustrated. Years ago our friend, John, gave me a copy of the CI book The Best Recipe, and I really like their light and fluffy pancake recipe. I’ve used that one a lot.
Another influence is this super healthy multigrain pancake recipe I found in a magazine (probably “Shape”) years ago. I saved the magazine, permanently folded open to that page, and I’m sure I still have it somewhere, but I couldn’t find it yesterday. Oh well. That one uses white and whole wheat flours, cornemeal, and oatmeal in the recipe, along with some yogurt.
My recipe isn’t the healthiest pancake recipe ever; but it’s not the UNhealthiest, either. It’s somewhere in the middle, and produces pancakes that are soft inside and the teeniest bit crispy on the outside.
Here we go.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make up a whopping big batch of pancakes. I keep the leftovers in the freezer and use them for quick breakfasts during the week.
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-3 cups blueberries*
*(I probably used about a cup and a half of the blueberries – I didn’t measure them, though. And I only made half of the pancakes with blueberries. So if you want to make ALL blueberry, then increase the amount. Also, I add them by hand to the pancakes on the griddle. And, I like to use the frozen wild blueberries. That’s just me.)
Now, combine the melted butter and your egg yolks.
Don’t forget to scrape the bowls to get every drop! Doesn’t it drive you nuts when chefs/cooks on tv just pour stuff in but don’t scrape the bowl? Very wasteful.
Now, put your egg whites in a large, wide, lightweight bowl and get your favorite whisk. Ready? We’re going to whip the whites to soft peaks. No, no, no, don’t bother with a mixer – this isn’t hard and it doesn’t take long, and it helps you develop strong forearms, at least on one arm.
Okay, now fold these into the rest of the batter. Why bother with whipping the whites? Well, the air bubbles you’ve just created will help provide lightness and structure in your pancakes. And you fold them in rather than whisking or stirring because you want to try to keep as many air bubbles from popping as possible.
And also, whisking the whites burned up a few calories, so you get to eat an extra pancake!
And speaking of hot, it’s also time to pour the coffee, if you haven’t already done so this morning.
Anyway, when your griddle is nice and hot, brush it lightly with some oil and ladle out the batter to make your first round of pancakes. I make small ones – they’re easier to flip over.
As I mentioned earlier, Julia doesn’t like blueberry pancakes, so I do a couple of batches of plain pancakes first.
While these are cooking, I turn the warming drawer temp to high and place a couple of platters inside to get warm. If your oven doesn’t have a warming drawer, just set your oven on the lowest possible setting and use that instead. Just remember to use oven mitts when it’s time to take the platters out!
Okay, I’ve got several batches of plain pancakes made, now it’s time to make the blueberry ones. I ladle out my batter, and then, by hand, I sprinkle a generous amount of blueberries on each pancake.
And, if you’re feeling creative, you can get out some large METAL (NOT PLASTIC!!) cookie cutters and make some shapes. Just brush the insides of the cookie cutter with softened butter or vegetable oil, set it on the griddle, and ladle your batter in. Don’t put too much batter in – remember, because the cutter has sides, the batter will have to rise, rather than spread.
A few weeks ago I made stegosaurus pancakes. This time I made some blueberry hearts…
The pancakes I make are generally 3-4″ in diameter, give or take an inch. And I think this recipe produced about….70 -80 small pancakes. So you can certainly reduce the quantities. FYI, the recipe is most easily divisible by 3.
Heart-shaped butter cutouts are optional.