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Special blueberry pancakes showcase garden gems

Recipe: Blueberry sour cream pancakes with homegrown blueberries

Blueberry pancakes on a plate
These pancakes are studded with homegrown blue
berries. Store-bought or farmers market berries also
are options. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)



My four blueberry plants have finally started bearing enough fruit to actually make something!

Anyone who has tried to grow blueberries in Sacramento understands the high cost of this spring fruit.

Every blueberry is like a precious little gem, tickled off of clusters one by one by hand. That allows the green berries more time to mature, but also means the plants need to be monitored almost daily. (Otherwise, birds may take all the ripe ones.)

Usually, my blueberries get eaten immediately in the garden; with only one or two ripe ones a day, why not? But this spring, my Sunshine Blue bush produced beautiful, large blueberries that were too numerous to just nibble. When my harvest measured 1 cup, it was time for blueberry pancakes.

Sour cream gives these thick pancakes a rich, soft texture that’s a perfect cushion for the delicate blueberries. They’re sweet enough that syrup is optional (but really good).

Blueberry bush
A cluster of ripe blueberries on a
Sunshine Blue bush.
Blueberry sour cream pancakes

Makes 7 to 8 (5-inch) pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries, washed with any stems removed

Butter for grill

Instructions:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller bowl, mix together sour cream and milk. Add egg.

Flip the pancakes when small bubbles
start to appear on the surface.


Blend sour cream mixture with dry ingredients just until combined. Add oil or melted butter, then vanilla. It will be a thick batter but still can be poured from a spoon; add a little more milk if needed.

Pick over blueberries to remove any stems. Gently fold blueberries into batter.

Heat pancake grill or frying pan to medium. Melt butter to cover the cooking surface. Ladle batter onto grill, allowing about ¼ cup of batter per pancake. Each pancake will expand; space them well apart.

Cook until little bubbles start to appear on the surface of each pancake, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until done, about 2 more minutes. Pancakes should be golden on each side.

Serve immediately with more butter and syrup or dusted with powdered sugar, if desired.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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