Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes: blues you can use

Every time I see a picture of pancakes, I want to drop everything, run into the kitchen, and whip myself up a quick plateful.

So why is it that I only make pancakes about once a year – if that?

There’s nothing so compelling as a hot-off-the-griddle pancake, spread with soft butter and drizzled with thick, dark Grade B maple syrup.

Or, in the case of the pancakes pictured above: tangy-sweet lemon syrup.

So what stops me from making pancakes?

Inertia, plain and simple.

7 a.m. isn’t exactly my finest hour of the day. The treadmill’s been trod, Facebook checked, emails answered, dog walked… whoops, time to go to work! But I need breakfast. What’s fastest, easiest, and most portable?

A travel mug of Ovaltine and a high-fiber English muffin with peanut butter and jam.

Every single morning.

Even when the weekend rolls around, I seem unable to break out of my breakfast rut and try anything new. (That’s the inertia part.)

Oh, sure, sometimes I survey the kitchen on a sunny Saturday morning and think, “What a perfect day for pancakes!”

And then the dog starts barking at the kids next door, and the washing machine buzzes that it’s done, and my husband enlists my help to look for his car keys… and my pancake dreams go right out the window.

So I grab an English muffin and run.

But you know what? I’m going to turn over a new leaf. Two new leaves, actually.

One is an all-time favorite recipe: Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix. Once I have the ingredients stirred together and stashed in my fridge, all I have to do is whisk together a cup of the mix with an egg and milk to make delicious, tender, wonderfully moist pancakes.

The second is a new favorite: Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes, made with self-rising flour, sugar, lemon, vegetable oil, and blueberries – which means not only is this a fast, easy breakfast, but it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans (of which I have more than a few friends and family members these days).

So, next time I hear by the Saturday siren song of pancakes, I’m giving in.

Talk about sweet seduction…

First, get a medium- to large-sized lemon out of the fridge.

Grate the peel; a Microplane zester makes wonderfully short work of this task, without any chance of scraped knuckles.

Set the peel aside, halve the lemon, and squeeze out all the juice; you should have about 1/4 cup.

Did you know that by clicking anywhere on this block of pictures, you can enlarge them to full size? Go ahead, give it a try; it’ll work for any of our photos.

Next, whisk together 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour; 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste; and the lemon peel you’ve just grated.

[Ed. note: Want to make lemon-blueberry pancakes using King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, in place of self-rising? Follow our recipe for Blueberry Pancakes, substituting 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice for 1/4 cup of the milk; adding the grated rind of 1 lemon; and increasing the sugar to 3 to 4 tablespoons, to taste.]

In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup water, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just to combine; a few lumps are OK.

Stir in the blueberries. If you use frozen berries, it’s just about inevitable that their juice will streak the batter as you mix them in…

…and turn the resulting pancakes a lovely shade of purple-pink (pictured at left).

Using fresh berries (right) will give you a typical golden pancake studded with dark-blue berries.

Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes, while you preheat your electric frying pan to 325°F, or preheat your stovetop griddle over medium heat.

Oil your frying pan with vegetable oil or non-stick vegetable oil spray, and drop the batter in 1/4-cupfuls onto the hot surface. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes on the first side, until bubbles come to the surface and start to pop; the cakes’ undersides should be a light golden brown.

Cook on the second side for about 2 1/2 minutes, until pancakes are golden brown.

Something nice about using fresh blueberries: they’re usually very juicy.

Looks kinda messy, but you know what I always say: beauty is only crust-deep – it’s the taste that counts!

Transfer cooked pancakes to serving plates, and serve hot.

A sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar is an easy, tasty topping. Or drizzle with lemon syrup: mix 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice with 2/3 cup granulated sugar, or to taste. Heat briefly, just to dissolve the sugar.

Read, make, and review (please) our recipe for Self-Rising Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. helgabee

    I made a doctored version of these last night, substituting more water for the lemon juice (to which I’m sensitive) and adding a bit more baking powder. Got a thick doughy mass so added more water until it looked batter-y. Put blueberries in some and banana in others. Delicious! But I got nowhere near the number of pancakes I expected, just eight small ones after increasing the recipe 1-1/2 times. Wondering how that happened?

    So, to get this straight – you used 2 1/4 cups flour? That amount of flour making just 8 small pancakes is puzzling… Adding additional baking powder would have made the batter stiffer – perhaps it just didn’t spread as much, so you used more batter than normal to make your standard-size pancake? I think a call to our baker’s hotline, 802-649-3717, might be helpful here… Thanks for your feedback – and glad they were delicious, anyway! PJH

    Reply
  2. Aaron Frank

    I don’t have an inner voice calling for pancakes, just two outer ones that belong to my two kids. And we have loads of blueberries. Perfect timing!

    What’s not portable about pancakes? You can roll them up and eat them while you drive. Or use them like an english muffin and sandwich stuff between them.

    Fry up some bacon – not too crisp – then roll it up in a pancakes. You can add some syrup to the pancake batter so you have the pancake/bacon/maple flavor!

    Or fry or scramble an egg and put it between two pancakes.

    Maybe add some oats to the batter too and then you have whole grains AND oats AND pancakes.

    I’m about to order some more syrup. I usually order grade A medium amber from a place in Vermont (I get in trouble down here for insisting VT has the best syrup). The place I always order from has recommended against B except for baking and cooking. Should I try it this time?

    Thanks for another great post.

    Grade B is definitely more robust in flavor. For pancakes, I much prefer Grade A. the Grade be can be a little “harsh” on the palette straight. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  3. Karen

    I, too, had a very thick dough that would have been impossible to use for pancakes, so I added about 1/2 C. more water and voila, it was a perfect consistency. Served up all 9 pancakes with maple flavored sausage for supper tonight. Y-U-M-M-Y!!!!!!
    P.S. First words out of hubby’s mouth after the first bite were,
    “What else is in this besides the blueberries?” When I advised it was the lemon, he chuckled with “I knew there was some kind of citrus in here”. Can’t fool his palate!!!

    I’m glad you pursued the recipe and added water until it was the right consistency – I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit, increasing the liquid, and have added a tip to explain what might be happening… Anyway, glad your hub liked ’em, citrus and all! PJH

    Reply

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