We have a Sunday tradition in our house that involves making and eating pancakes or waffles with maple syrup. I’m not even sure when it started, but at least 6 years ago, I think. Probably longer, since I remember eating one or the other when I was a kid on Sunday mornings. The waffles were special because it was one of the few meals that my father made. His cooking responsibilities were limited to the barbeque, carving the turkey on Thanksgiving and making waffles on Sunday mornings. I’m sure he is well-able to make more than those things, but those are the ones that stick in my memory.
The pancakes we had growing up were invariably made using a pre-made pancake and baking mix, just adding milk, oil and eggs. We did always have real maple syrup to go with them (and real butter – my dad never bought into the “fake” stuff) and if we were lucky, it was local syrup to boot. When I moved to Amsterdam, this pre-mix was no longer an option, so I perused my cookbooks and found a basic recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens “New Cook Book”. As I tend to do, I tweaked it to my taste. I can remember very vividly the first time I made them for my father when he and my mother came to visit, which must have been well over 10 years ago. He tasted my blueberry pancakes and said to me: “Daughter, I think your maple syrup must have gone off. These pancakes taste funny.” Frantic, I tested the syrup and the pancake only to discover that they tasted the same as they always did. Why did he think my syrup wasn’t good? Well, my mother guessed the answer – my pancakes were made from scratch and tasted different than our traditional pre-mix pancakes. I think (and hope) that his taste buds have rebounded from the experience because he seems to enjoy them these days, even eating them when I make them from scratch instead of using the mix during my visits to the States. It is also one of the few things I can count on my kids to eat more of than we do!
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
- 2/3 c spelt flour (or brown rice flour for gluten-free)
- 2/3 c buckwheat flour
- 1 T polenta
- 1 T cornmeal
- 2 T oat bran (optional)
- 2 T wheat germ (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 egg
- 1 ¾ c buttermilk
- 2 T oil
- 1 c frozen (or fresh) blueberries
- Heat the cast-iron griddle. I find I have better results if I start it first and warm it slow and steady on a medium to low heat.
- Put the spelt flour, buckwheat flour, polenta, cornmeal, oat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves into a large mixing bowl. Mix well, incorporating plenty of air into the mixture.
- In another mixing bowl, beat the egg, adding the buttermilk and oil.
- Place the frozen blueberries in a shallow bowl . Sprinkle a tablespoon of the dry flour mixture over the blueberries and gentle roll them around until coated with the flour. This helps prevent them from sticking together. If you are using fresh blueberries, you can skip this step.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing until just moist. Don’t over mix. There will be a few small lumps.
- Fold the blueberries gently through the batter.
- Bake the pancakes until bubbles form, then flip them and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately.
Makes about 18 pancakes.