I’m Feelin’ Blue – berries that is!

It’s blueberry season on Lookout Mountain!

 

And, my, oh my, our bushes are full of them!

 

I picked a 4-quart pot full a couple of days ago and filled it up again this morning. (That is, minus the ones I ate while picking.) Hee, hee, hee.

Ooh, do I have plans for these!

 

 

Blueberry pancakes with a blueberry compote on top! Oh, yeah!

 First, I rinse them well with cool, clear water.

Then, I poured all but 4 cups of them out on paper-towel-lined baking sheets,  to let them dry. I picked through them and discarded any that were split or too soft.

 

 

 

While the extras were drying off, I decided to make some blueberry pancakes and blueberry compote to top them off.

The 4-cups of reserved blueberries were placed in a medium saucepan along with 1 rounded tablespoon of cornstarch, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup of orange juice.

  

 I stirred them to combine and placed them on medium heat. Stirring occasionally.

Soon they began to split and give off their juices.

 

 

 

Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture just begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened and deep blueish-purple.

 

 Taste it and add more sugar if necessary. If mixture is too thick, add a little more orange juice.

 

 

 

 

When the blueberries are cooked to the consistency you want, turn off the heat, add a pat of butter and stir until melted. Cover and let sit while you make the pancakes.

Note: Compote will thicken as it cools, so you may need to add a bit of orange juice when reheating.

Now for the pancakes!

I use Nigella Lawson’s Pancake Mix recipe, but I’ve changed a few of her batter recipe measurements for my version.

Nigella’s Pancake Mix Recipe:       4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 Tablespoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt (un- iodized), 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Mix all ingredients together and store in and air-tight container.

My pancake batter recipe:    1 1/2 Cups of Nigella’s Pancake Mix, 2 jumbo eggs (1/2 cup), 1 Cup buttermilk, 1 Tablespoon butter, melted (I use unsalted butter)

In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, beat eggs well. Continue beating while slowly drizzling in the melted butter. Continue beating and add the buttermilk.

 

You should have about 1 1/2 cups to 13 oz. of liquid mixture.

Pour the liquid ingredients into a 4-cup measuring cup.

 

Sift the pancake mix into a bowl to remove any possible lumps in the mixture.

 

 

 

 

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ones and mix gently with a whisk until just incorporated. Do not beat the mixture vigorously or over-mix. This will activate the gluten in the flour and your pancakes will be tough.

Let the mixture stand on the counter while you heat up your fry pan. I use an electric non-stick skillet set to a heat of 325 degrees F.

Add a pat of butter to the pan as it heats. When the melted butter starts to sizzle slightly, take a folded paper towel and distribute the butter evenly over the surface.

I use a gravy ladle to spoon the pancake batter onto the pan. It makes a nice sized pancake and will give you about 12 pancakes.

When you’ve got your batter in the pan, sprinkle some blueberries over the surface.

 

Let them cook for a couple of minutes until the edges start to dry and set a bit. When the underside is nicely browned, flip them over and cook until that side is browned. You will hear the blueberries burst and sizzle. That’s a good thing! But the extra moisture that they release can make the cook time for the second side longer than it would be for just plain pancakes. Be patient. It will be worth the extra few minutes!

When they’re done, remove them to a plate and cover with a tea towel. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree F oven until time to serve.

You will see little spots of cooked blueberry juice in the pan. I like to clean the skillet surface with a paper towel before making the next batch. Otherwise, the spots may burn into the next pancakes.

After removing the blueberry juice spots, add another pat of butter and continue making more pancakes, adding blueberries as before.

 

 

 

 

When you’ve got the pancakes made, stack a few on your plate, and spoon on the blueberry compote. Add some bacon, and a glass of orange juice on the side and make your mouth happy!

 

Oh that was good!

What to do with those blueberries left to dry on the counter?  After they’ve dried off, place them on wax-paper lined baking sheets and set them in the freezer. When frozen, put them in zip-top freezer bags, date them, and store them in the freezer for up to  a year. Since they freeze individually, you can take out a bag and pour out just what you want to use and put the rest back in the freezer for later.

 

Whether you grow your own, Go to a You-Pick Farm, or buy them from the grocery store, I hope you’ll give these recipes a try.

Got a blueberry recipe you’d like to share?

Leave a comment or email me. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy blueberries!

Diane

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