Friday, April 3, 2015

Recipe: Fluffy Lemon-Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry-Thyme Sauce

Man oh man this recipe sounds fussy, doesn't it?

Spoiler alert, IT'S NOT. Maybe, just between us, we can call them 'FLUFFY ASS P-CAKES' instead? There. Approachable. 

Besides, most challenging part of brunch at home isn't the food. It's climbing out of your cozy bed and shuffling into the kitchen. Made even more difficult when there's a giant, warm furry body curled up next to you like you're the last human being on earth. (Oh, dogs.)

BUT, once I'm in the kitchen, brunch at home is one of my most favorite things. Yes, I know there are a million and two brunch places in NYC. Probably even within a 1-mile radius of my apartment. But CAN I WEAR SWEATPANTS to said brunch places? Can I request James Taylor Pandora, to go with my 19 cups of coffee? Can I sneak my dog bites of pancake in a shameless effort to make him love me more? Nooooo. At home? Yes. Yes to all of the above.

There are two things that I really really love about this pancake recipe. 

Thing 1: I almost always have all of the ingredients on-hand. Which means no running to Trader Joe's in a grey-on-grey hoodie/sweatpants combo that most definitely doesn't include two holes in the right pant leg. 

Did you know you could make your own buttermilk by stirring a few tablespoons lemon juice (or white vinegar) into some milk? Not as scary as it sounds, promise. And the blueberry sauce - while called blueberry sauce - can be made with whatever frozen berries you have on hand. Mixed berries, raspberries, strawberries, whatever! 

Thing 2: THESE ARE THE FLUFFIEST PANCAKES I'VE EVER SEEN. Just watch as they hit the griddle. They puff straight up like little batter clouds. They are so cute that I want to punch them, most times.

But maybe don't punch yours? It's not part of the recipe, at least.  

Recipe: Fluffy Lemon-Buttermilk Pancakes
[original pancake recipe via Allrecipes]

Ingredients (makes 8 pancakes) 
1 cup gluten free, all-purpose flour mix (I use Cup4Cup)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (any fat content)
Juice of 1 lemon (~2 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1 lemon, zested (~2 tsp zest)
Additional milk, if necessary
Canola or vegetable oil 

Measure 3/4 cup milk into a measuring cup and add lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir to combine, and let sit 5 minutes to thicken.

In a large bowl, whisk together: flour,sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

After milk has been sitting for 5 minutes, add: vanilla, egg and melted butter. (Ideally you want all ingredients to be room temp. Microwave 'buttermilk' for 10 to 15 seconds or run egg under warm water if necessary.) Whisk to combine. 

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Whisk to combine. Add zest, and whisk again. If batter is too thick, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time. (I usually add 2 tablespoons.) Depending on which gluten free flour blend you use you may need more/less milk. Ultimately you want the batter to be the consistency of a very wet, pourable biscuit dough. 

Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat. (If using pancake griddle, heat to 350 degrees.) Wipe skillet with a paper towel dipped in canola or vegetable oil. Pour just scant 1/4 cup batter to form each pancake. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. 

If not serving pancakes right away, keep warm in a 200 degree oven on a baking sheet. 

Recipe: Blueberry-Thyme Sauce

2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water
Juice of 1 lemon (~2 tablespoons)
3 tbsp sugar (add 1 more tablespoon for sweeter sauce) 
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
1 tbsp cornstarch

In a small pot, combine: blueberries, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, sugar and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.

In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water to form a slurry. Pour the slurry into the pot, stirring immediately so no clumps form. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes until sauce thickens. 

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