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Blueberry Pancakes & Syrup

Blueberry Pancakes & Syrup

Once known as "star berries" because of the pointy flower calyxes that mark their tops, blueberries have grown wild in North America for thousands of years.They were considered a staple among Native Americans who smoked the berries (to preserve them) and pounded them into venison to flavor the meat - a meal the Indians in the Northwest Territory once shared with explorers Lewis and Clark.

Nowadays, storing extra blueberries for the winter is a cinch. Just wash and dry them, then arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Package the frozen berries in freezer bags.

Light, fluffy and chock-full of plump blueberries, these mini pancakes stack up to a hearty breakfast for both young and mature palates, without leaving you too stuffed. For the best results, get the whole family involved in the preparations. While you heat the griddle, one child can whisk together the milk, vegetable oil and egg, another can measure the dry ingredients and someone else can set the table (with blue napkins and a bowl of extra blueberries, perhaps).

Ingredients

FOR PANCAKES:

  • Butter or vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of nutmeg

1 cup fresh blueberries

FOR BLUEBERRY SYRUP:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Grease the griddle with butter or vegetable oil and heat until medium-hot. (Once you've mixed the pancake batter, you can test the pan by spooning in a drop or two. If the drops sizzle around the edges, the griddle is ready.)
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil and egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Then add the dry ingredients into the milk and stir just until mixed (the batter should be slightly lumpy). Gently fold in the blueberries.
  3. Spoon the batter onto the heated griddle; the dollops should be the size of silver dollars or slightly larger. Let the batter cook until the tops of the pancakes begin to bubble, then flip and cook until done. Stack pancakes on individual plates and serve immediately with softened butter and warm syrup. Makes about 18 2-1/2-inch pancakes.
  4. For a special treat, serve the pancakes with blueberry maple syrup. Combine the blueberries and syrup in a saucepan. Heat to boiling (adults only), then lower the heat and simmer until most of the fruit has burst. Remove from the heat and use a fork or potato masher to smoosh the berries. The syrup will thicken as it cools. Store up to two days in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

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