Saturday, June 30, 2012

saturday morning = pancakes

Last night, we got some blackberries in our produce haul from Fresh Fork Market.


I started thinking of different ways to enjoy these berries - in plain yogurt, with a little honey mixed in... in a salad... by itself... and then I remembered the cheese we got. And I remembered how much I love fruit and cheese combinations. Sweet and savory together is always a winner in my book. Like raspberries and Brie. Figs and gorgonzola. Watermelon and feta. Dark chocolate and sea salt.

We were supposed to get some feta from our CSA, but they ran out (it must be really good!). I was a bit disappointed, because this was supposed to be the real-deal sheep's milk feta, from Lucky Penny Farm. So they offered a substitute. We selected Camembert, which was from Mayfield Road Creamery.

The Camembert was amazing. When we got it, it was at the perfect room temperature (which is the temperature to fully enjoy cheese). It was smooth, creamy, and rich, but not too pungent.



As you can tell from the photo, we already did some significant damage to it after enjoying it last night and this morning. 

And, we also got something extra special from our produce pickup - yogurt!!! I was excited about this, thanks to this description from their website:

The next exciting product is our yogurt from Velvet View Farms in Big Prairie Ohio (south of Wooster).  This was my favorite new product last year, to the point that I take a 3 gallon bucket home each month.  The product has exceptional flavor and is very versatile.  It is very runny so I use mine in place of buttermilk in baking and sometimes even milk in recipes.

The yogurt has only one ingredient: cultured milk.  It has no stabilizers like pectin or added milk solids.  This keeps it runny but 100% authentic.  My favorite fact is that it is 17 ft 2 inches from the udder to the pasteurizing  tank.  When the cows are being milked, a valve is turned and the warm milk flows directly to the tank in the other room.  The temperature is brought up, the culture added, and 10 hours later they are ready to bottle yogurt.

It doesn't get any fresher than that. 

So this morning, I decided to make pancakes inspired by Smitten Kitchen's recipe for sour cream pancakes.

This recipe produces pancake batter that is a little runnier than usual, but I like it because I prefer moist, thin pancakes - nothing like the boxed kind that gets a bit dry. I remember when we were growing up, and pancakes were such a treat for us. My brother was great at flipping pancakes, and I remember how he used to flip them like a professional by shaking the pan and flipping the pancake that way, without using a turner. Back home, we didn't even have the real maple syrup (maple trees don't grow there), so we used the imitation "maple-flavored" syrup - which I now honestly think is horrible, after tasting the real deal maple syrup. But back then we didn't care - we had pancakes!

Anyway. This morning's pancakes. I halved the recipe (since there were just two of us) and did a few tweaks.

Sweet and Savory Pancakes, for 2 (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

This recipe makes about 5 pancakes.
  • 4 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour (you can add a bit more if you find this recipe too liquid-y after mixing or if you want thicker pancakes)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (the original recipe calls for sour cream, which is good too)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of fresh lemon zest
  • Butter, for pan
  • Blackberries (or any other fruit)
  • Sliced Camembert (without the rind)
  • Maple syrup

(I used a 2-cup glass measuring cup in place of a mixing bow, for easy pouring into the pan)

Heat a skillet over medium low heat so that it starts to get hot while you measure and mix. 

In a small bowl, take some blackberries and add just a little bit of sugar. Let it sit to macerate for 5-10 minutes so that the fruit releases some of its juices.

natural juices of the blackberries coming out


Mix all the wet ingredients into the measuring cup (or bowl), then add the dry ingredients. Whisk together just until incorporated; a little lumps are ok.

I think the key to making pancakes is to keep the heat on medium-low, so that it cooks through without the underside getting burned. Especially with this particular recipe, which has a greater proportion of liquid ingredients to dry, it needs time to cook through on medium-low heat.

Once the pan was hot (I used my cast iron skillet - which, once hot, stays hot very well), I melted a little butter then slowly poured pancake batter into the pan, letting the batter spread until it was the size I wanted (I'd say about 5 inches across maybe?).

Let it cook undisturbed until bubbles start to form:



The pancake itself will "tell" you when it's ready to be flipped. You should be able to insert your turner easily under the pancake to flip it over. If it fights against you, wait just a bit longer.

Then once it's flipped, top with a few slices of Camembert so that it melts a bit while the other side of the pancake cooks.

Once cooked, top with some blackberries (include some of the sweet juice that collects in the bowl after macerating). Pour a little maple syrup over, and serve.


YUMMMM.

I prefer not to stack my pancakes, as I want a just-right proportion of toppings to pancakes without overwhelming my plate. But that's just me. Feel free to stack as many as you want!



These pancakes are so light and moist - and flavorful from the tangy yogurt, bright lemon zest, and the little bit of vanilla. Of course, it was after I finished my pancakes that I remembered: some toasted slivered almonds or walnuts would be good in here...note to self for next weekend's pancakes.


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4 comments:

Cassaendra said...

Hi~

I saw this through the FFM blog. This looks fantastic. I will definitely try this. Thanks~

Mia said...

Thanks Cassaendra! This has been my go-to pancake recipe as it's really easy and it always turns out well.

Hope you're enjoying your FFM loot!

Jen said...

This looks amazing! I love cheese and berry/jam combinations, too. I need to get a griddle pan for my middle burner and test out the pancake recipe :)

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Hi Jen! Ooh - a griddle for your *exciting* middle burner! Let me know how it goes :)

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