Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fresh Cranberry Pancakes, Anyone?

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
“He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes."-- Proverb

It snowed last night. It's starting to feel a lot like pre-winter. Not my fave season. It sort of reminds me of being on a roller coaster and we're starting to inch up that big, big, big hill before that oh-so thrilling decline. Anyhow, you, like me, may be a bit overwhelmed with Thanksgiving leftovers and may be craving something fresh...

I did make a Cranberry Nut Bread for Thanksgiving breakfast and I used fresh whole cranberries. It does work. No need to chop 'em in half. So, I've got a half bag left. I'm scanning a "Blueberry Pancakes" recipe excerpted form Baking Sensational Sweets with California Olive Oil created by Gemma Sanita Sciabica--it's in my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.
But since it's cranberry season it seems appropriate to use cranberries (and/or blueberries if you can find fresh ones). Remember the film Something's Gotta Give with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson? There is the memorable scene where the meant to be couple both wanted to share homemade pancakes until an interruption and they gave up their desire for the sweet treat. For some reason, it's a tasty food that can be romantic for two or comforting for one.

Cranberry Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Marsala Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cranberries (and/or blueberries)

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk, ricotta, olive oil, and eggs. Stir just until the mixture is moistened. Fold in the berries. Lightly oil a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter by 1/4 cups onto the hot griddle and spread gently into 4-inch rounds. Cook the pancakes 2-3 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook 1-2 more minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. Place the pancakes on a cookie sheet and keep them warm int he oven while cooking the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes with pure maple syrup. [Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar for an extra festive treat.]

So, now I know what I'm going to do with those tart 'n' sweet cranberries. (I mixed them with granulated sugar like you do apples when baking an apple pie.) So, it feels like a winter-type breakfast. But unlike a roller coaster ride (or a blizzard) there will be no screaming in this house; just feeling good by munching on the first to last bit of fresh holiday berries. It's a perfect and versatile treat for breakfast, brunch or even a late night snack.

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