11 June 2012

Eats: berry pancakes

Happy Monday, readers! I’m back to Eats today with another must-use-up-all-the-food-in-my-kitchen recipe! But no worries, this is a tasty recipe even if you aren’t determined to use up every last crumb of random remaining food in your kitchen within a week, like some psychotically-organized moving person. Who shall remain nameless.

See, you already know that I’m a pretty consistent meal planner. So when it came time to move, I inventoried all the things in our kitchen and planned out meals that could be made using only ingredients on hand. Then I cooked all the meals a week in advance, a la freezer cooking. But instead of freezing, I just stored them in disposable trays in the fridge, and we spooned out what we wanted and re-heated in the microwave.

Shown here: stroganoff meatballs over egg noodles and peanut chicken over rice (essentially my red curry, sans curry paste with extra peanut butter and peanuts). They don’t look that appetizing here (on packing paper, for extra moving cred), nor did they look super tasty on paper plates with plastic silverware. But they tasted fine, and I got to pack up everything in my kitchen early. Plus it was cheaper than takeout, and we didn’t waste any food! Maximum meal planning achieved!

Making meals like those – our usual meals – was easy enough. But there were a few ingredients that were a little more challenging, like the frozen fruit I used in this berry creme pie. While I wouldn’t complain about having a pie or two just to get rid of the fruit... that would be impractical. AND HEAVEN FORBID I THROW AWAY AN OLD THREE DOLLAR BAG OF FRUIT.

Instead I decided to use those frozen berries to make pancakes! I’m usually not much of a pancake maker, opting to let Mr. P the Early Bird make waffles while I loll around in the bed. And when I do make pancakes, I usually use baking mix – which we didn’t have. But we had all the other ingredients to make pancakes from scratch, including eggs that needed to be used, and juuust enough syrup (meaning we could use it, then throwing the empty bottle away before moving). I had to try it!

So I poked around the internets and found this highly-rated and straightforward recipe, with plenty of user comments to help a non-pancake-making girl out. One of the comments said to mix a cup and a quarter of milk, an egg, and three tablespoons of melted butter together, then let them come to room temperature. Um, okay.

I should note that the butter was just barely melted in the microwave, so as not to cook the egg when I stirred it in. I let that sit on the counter, doing its apparently important magical room-temperature stuff, while I did other things like puréeing the frozen fruit in the food processor.

Once again, I used the nearly-freezer-burnt raspberry-blackberry-blueberry mix from the pie, and this time I used about a cup of whole frozen berries. It didn’t use all of them up, but enough that I didn’t feel bad about finally, finally tossing out the few that remained.

I stirred those in to the milk/egg/butter mixture and let the whole shebang warm to room temperature:

That is... very purple. I decided at this point that I was making Barney pancakes.

Then, I mixed the dry ingredients for my ridiculously purple pancakes: 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, and TWO tablespoons white sugar (I upped the amount of sugar to compensate for the tartness of the berries). I had already packed my sifter, so I, uh, just stirred it up with a fork... a lot. Hey, I was already using separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients. That’s about all the fancy cook effort I could make.

Once I’d pretend-sifted the dry ingredients, I stirred in the berry mixture to make the batter:

Oh yes. Barney Pancakes.

Because I was out of butter by now, I just used cooking spray to grease the medium-hot griddle to cook the pancakes. And to keep it easy, I used a 1/3-cup scoop to pour approximately 1/4-cup of the batter onto the griddle (the batter was thick enough that some got left behind in the measuring cup).

When there are lots of bubbles on the top of the pancake, and the edges look semi-solid like that, it’s time to flip! Perfectly browned pancakes, yay!

Aside from waiting for the wet ingredients to come up to room temperature (which may not be necessary?), this recipe was nearly as easy as the boxed baking mix – and tasted so, SO much better! I got over the purple-ness of my Barney Pancakes pretty quickly just because they were so tasty. With the berries, these reminded me of the most delicious, fluffy blueberry waffles I had at a bed and breakfast during my Austin job interview. I hadn’t even intended to replicate them, so that was a very happy accident.

I haven’t tried the recipe without the berries yet – and honestly, I’d rather just have them with the berries. Which means... I am considering buying another bag of frozen fruit for this apartment after that last bag lingered in our freezer for months. Imagine that! I guess it just doesn’t feel like home without freezer-burnt fruit.


Rachel C said...

Yum! These look amazing! We have pancakes almost every Sunday and this looks like a great alternative.