Diner Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup

March 7, 2014

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I have a friend named Denita.

Denita lives in Utah with her husband. Last year while traveling the USA, Ben and I stayed with them for a week. We hiked up mountains, wandered American supermarket aisles and ate Mexican food – good Mexican like carnitas, fish tacos, chipotle and mole. I miss that week.

De and I share an appreciation for food. This includes wholesome recipes and vegetable-centric cooking, with nuts and grains and all things delicious. It also includes appreciation/shock for all things crazy American. Australia is most certainly not saintly when it comes to food and health, don’t get me wrong. And yes, there is incredible food in the USA, much tender and thoughtfully crafted cooking that inspires me daily. But there is also outrageous food in the USA. I’m talking Paula Deen’s “Lady’s Brunch Burger“, as well their desire to deep-fry anything and preferably everything.

My friend and I will often send each other links for these horrifying recipes, just to keep the “oh dear Lord” dialogue going. There was a suggestion I watch some food travel shows, where a rotund host journeys to different parts of the country in search of “the best sandwich/doughnut/pizza…” And so, for a bit of entertainment whilst engaging in my most hated chore, dusting, I watched a show on America’s best diners. PS. dusting is the worst.

Along with the 12 egg omelette (that’s a single serve, people) and the granola crusted deep fried brioche french toast slathered in caramel sauce and whipped cream, there was a diner in Georgia that served pancakes. Big, fluffy, farmhouse-style buttermilk pancakes. And I developed the most intense craving for pancakes of my life!

The next morning I woke in the hour of six without an alarm. My body must have known this was the perfect hour for pancake preparation. I listened and promptly walked to the shops for buttermilk.

It. Was. On.

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This classic American recipe is honest goodness, with old-fashioned pancake staples like flour and buttermilk and sugar and butter. There’s a time and a place for coconut flour pancakes, ones with seeds or Greek yoghurt and even flourless pancakes. But sometimes, you just need a fluffy diner pancake recipe. This is that.

The blueberry maple syrup comes highly recommended by myself, a seasoned pancake seasoner. It involves simmering defrosted (or fresh) blueberries in pure maple syrup with a squeeze of lemon juice, which (along with a side of tart yoghurt) helps to cut through the sweetness.

You win this round, America.

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Diner Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup

Loosely adapted from Adrianna‘s Best Buttermilk Pancakes recipe.

Serves 2. Freeze any uneaten pancakes individually in plastic wrap (and then just unwrap and pop into the toaster!)

Ingredients
1 cup Spelt Flour (or regular plain flour, or 3/4 cup plain and 1/4 cup wholemeal flour)
1 heaped tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled (plus extra for the pan)
1 & 1/4 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Blueberry Syrup Ingredients
1 cup Blueberries (defrosted from frozen, or fresh)
1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1-2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, to taste

To serve: unsweetened Greek or Natural yoghurt

Method
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda and sea salt together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Whisk the egg and add the butter, buttermilk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and fold in the egg mixture gently. Do not overmix the batter! Some flour flecks and lumps are normal.
4. Heat a non-stick pan (or use two pans and cook two at a time) over low-medium heat and add a generous knob of butter. When you flick some water on the pan and it dances, the pan is hot and ready. Scoop 1/3 cup mixture onto the pan and form a large, flat-ish pancake (more or less depending on your desired size. I wanted large pancakes so made them big! Beware this makes for more difficult flipping). Cook for ~2 minutes until bubbles start forming and then flip your pancake and cook for a further minute or so, until your pancake is golden. Keep warm on a plate covered with foil and cook your remaining pancakes, adding more butter every second pancake if desired.
5. Make your blueberry syrup while the pancakes are cooking by placing the blueberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, the mixture bubbling gently, until you’re ready. Add the lemon juice and taste, adjust for more juice/syrup as desired and serve warm over the pancakes with tart yoghurt.

Pancakes, book, Saturday, happy. Miss and love you, De x

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Heidi xo

 

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  • Stephanie March 7, 2014 at 6:35 am

    This is such a sweet ode to a friend. 🙂 Waffles and pancakes have been the majority of my thoughts lately, evidenced by the obscene amount of them on my Pinterest feed. Blueberries are /always/ my first option for topping pancakes or waffles. Simply the best in my opinion. And a quick jammish syrup made from frozen or fresh blueberries is my favorite go-to as well. Yum indeed.

    • Heidi March 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I just saw your coconut waffles… YUM! You’re awesome. Need more waffles in my life x

  • Jackson March 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    ohhhhh yum! im going to make these all the time when i get a new kitchen

    • Heidi March 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      You’ll love them! Must make them for you xx

  • Yasmeen | Wandering Spice March 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    What a sweet post. You are such a thoughtful friend!

    Except for that time you swore on your blog. Swearing is bad. “Paula Deen” is hardly a phrase to be repeated, let alone set in stone in writing in the public sphere! Shrieking over here! (AH!)

    • Heidi March 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Hahaha love it. Hopefully I didn’t offend my American friends 😉 You know I adore your land & food. So much good. We should pancake together x

  • Laura @ laurasmess March 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    This is a beautiful post Heidi. Time with friends is definitely so, so precious… never to be wasted. Your time in the USA sounds amazing. Ah, it’s been years since my last visit but I definitely took full advantage of the ‘All-American’ food during my time there! Cinnabon rolls, pancakes, fried chicken, corn dogs, ribs, soft pretzels… ah! I might just make me a plate of these Diner beauties, sit by the window and reminisce… xx

    • Heidi March 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      How sweet, what a gorgeous comment. There really are so many delights in the USA, hey? Mmmm cinnabon rolls. Love. Especially when with friends x

  • Denita March 10, 2014 at 5:36 am

    WOW. Just letting everyone know that I am the luckiest son of a gun to have Heidi in my life. My friend is a superhero. As always, I LOVE this post!! That was the best week ever. Nearing a year ago now! What a blissful time 🙂 Thank you for being amazing, Heidi. Please come back soon – the mountains and I miss you. Until then, bring on the pancakes. (Unless you go to ihop – you may wish to have a massive plate of “funnel cake” drowning in syrup and icing sugar. This is one serving by the way.)

  • Iron Chef Shellie March 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    mmmmmm I need pancakes…. STAT!

  • Hannah March 13, 2014 at 3:36 am

    This post is everything that I love. And one of my favourite things that I ate last week for dinner was Denny’s praline pecan-studdent pancakes topped with banana and served with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon. Which I got to-go and ate sitting on the couch with Amber and Matt in Kansas City, watched Season Four of The X Files on Netflix. Bliss.

    So I want this please, and everything in your post, except maybe not the deep fried butter. Deep fried peanut butter, though, yes.

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