The Oh! Nuts company graciously allowed me to sample a number of their products recently. One of the items I selected was a bag of their dried blueberries. Now I’m a big fan of dried fruit. CK and I eat dried cranberries like it’s our job, but no dried fruit from Whole Foods, and on down the grocery store food chain, has ever tasted as good as the dried fruit I received from Oh! Nuts. I was shocked at how moist and well flavored the blueberries were. Was this how dried fruit was supposed to taste? Had I been eating sub par product for all these years and not even known it? It certainly appears that way.
What to actually make with an entire pound of delicious dried blueberries became my next conundrum. I’m sure blueberry pancakes seems like a gigantic cliche, but they’re a breakfast classic. Want to know a secret? Until I mixed these up I’d actually never made blueberry pancakes before. My cousin Amanda and I both harbor these sort of visceral anti-blueberry feelings. When we were younger our respective grandmothers would drag us to random fields in Eustis, Maine to pick blueberries in the unbearable summer heat. But these were so tasty I may finally have managed to overcome my childhood blueberry trauma.
Now I just need to find something delicious to do with dried raspberries and sun-dried tomatoes. Unfortunately, by the time I figure that out I’ll probably have eaten them all. So far I’ve found them both to be highly snackable and completely addictive.
Blueberry Lemon Pancakes
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s pancake recipe.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups milk
The zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup dried blueberries
Butter, for frying pancakes
Best quality maple syrup
Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large, wide-necked measuring cup, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
In another cup, measure the milk, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Then gently fold in the lemon zest and blueberries.
Now, heat either a griddle or nonstick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the cup (but you could use a 1/4-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggly circumferenced disks. When you see bubbles erupting on the surface, turn the pancakes over and cook for a couple of minutes, if that, on the other side.
Or use a blini pan and, as just described, turn when the bubbles break through to the uncooked surface. There is a Russian saying to the effect that the first pancake is always botched, so be prepared to sacrifice the initial offering to unceremonious stove side gobbling.
Pile the pancakes onto plate, and dribble or pour over, depending on greed and capacity, that clear, brown, woodily fragrant syrup.