Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Brunch: Whole Grain Pancakes with Blackberry Maple Syrup

Sometimes, I get tired of plain or simple buttermilk pancakes. Part of the reason is that I like a lot of variety in my foods and a part of the reason is this blog. Not that I'm begrudging my own blog anything, but posting does keep me from repeating myself too often.
I stumbled upon this pancake recipe on Epicurious when I was looking for a way to use up some blackberries that were sitting on my counter. I like blackberries in things like cobblers and smoothies, but I'm not a huge fan of eating them on their own as, more often than not, they're too tart for me to want to eat a whole handful at a time. A sauce seemed like a good way to sweeten them up and the syrup recipe that went along with the pancakes sounded perfect. Not to mention that it was incredibly simple. Of course, once I was making the syrup, I just had to try out the pancake recipe.
After some heavy "tweaking," I ended up with some delicious and hearty pancakes that are not entirely unlike the original recipe. They have a fair amount of texture from the inclusion of cornmeal and are not very sweet at all when they are eaten on their own, but go fantastically with any kind of syrup. Butter would be a nice touch with these, too, since there is very little fat in the recipe.
The syrup is chunky and rustic, but too thin to be called a compote. The maple syrup pairs surprisingly well with the blackberries. It was much less sweet than plain maple syrup because of the tartness of the not-too-sweet berries. When I tasted it on its own, I thought that it might not be quite sweet enough (I like my syrup sweet!), but it actually went very well with the pancakes.

Whole Grain Pancakes with Blackberry Maple Syrup
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal. sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk egg and oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto a hot, lightly greased griddle (a drop of water will skitter around the surface when it is hot enough). Turn once when the bottom is an even golden brown.
Serves 4-5

Blackberry Maple Syrup
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, unblackberries are bright red. Mash gently with the back or a spoon or a fork. Remove from heat and serve over pancakes.