Food & Wine (October 2010)
At our house, weekend breakfasts are typically an eggs-and-bacon affair.
Sometimes the eggs are scrambled or fried, with bacon on the side. Sometimes they're omelettes, with bacon on the inside. Or if we're feeling really crazy, we'll do a big scramble of ingredients and drop them in a tortilla. (Don't worry: You can have the bacon as an appetizer if doesn't work in your wrap. But God forbid we go a breakfast without bacon!)
It's the rare weekend morning when we have pancakes. Why rare? Well, eggs are quicker (and a whole lot less messy). Plus, a big stack of pancakes can seem like a lot of unnecessary carbs. Pancakes -- though a favorite of ours -- only get made when we have some great fruit we need to use or when we have a recipe we're dying to try.
So when we spied these Blueberry-Banana Pancakes in Food & Wine -- with their big slices of banana cooked into the batter -- we knew that pancakes were on the menu for Saturday morning.
These are delicious pancakes, but we found that the recipe has one place that can easily trip you up, and another that we'd change next time.
The first is with the sliced bananas. They're delicious in the pancakes, and we love the look of the big pieces of banana laid across each pancake. But they're incredibly difficult to slice. The recipe calls for "2 bananas, sliced lengthwise 2/3 inch thick and cut to fit the pancakes." Our bananas were on the ripe side -- not overly so, but definitely not green either -- and we found them incredibly hard to slice using a sharp knife. Perhaps there's a secret method to slicing bananas and we're in the dark? If you know it, share it!
Rather than slice the bananas into thin, long places, we'd recommend instead slicing them into thick medallions, and then plopping them into the batter once it's on the griddle. The effect of big banana slices won't be the same, but they'll be easier to work with and taste just as good.
Our second change is one of aesthetics. From other blueberry pancake recipes we've used, we've learned that if you don't want blue batter, blueberries are best if you drop them into the batter once it's one the griddle, rather than mix them directly into the batter in the bowl. If you notice in the Food & Wine photo below, there's no blue tint to their pancake, as you see in ours, so we suspect that's what they did when photographing this recipe.
But really, both of these notes are beside the point. These are delicious pancakes, and a great way to kick off a cool fall morning.
Just don't drive yourself crazy trying to make perfect slices of bananas.
• TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
• SERVINGS: Makes about 12 pancakes
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 3/4 cup blueberries
• 2 bananas, sliced lengthwise 2/3 inch thick and cut to fit the pancakes
• Confectioners' sugar and pure maple syrup, for serving
In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk. Quickly stir in the flour mixture, then stir in the melted butter and blueberries.
Heat a griddle or a large nonstick skillet over moderately low heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake onto the griddle, leaving room for the pancakes to spread. Gently lay one banana slice in the center of each pancake and cook until bubbles appear on the surface, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Generously dust the blueberry-banana pancakes with confectioners' sugar and serve with maple syrup.