July 24, 2013

The Maine Ingredient: Pancakes a flat-out great meal for whenever

Pancakes for breakfast, pancakes for dinner -- either way, they can be a healthy, whole grain treat if not doused with maple syrup and butter.

Not that there's a thing wrong with either, especially if the former is Maine maple syrup.

However, during the summer months when less is more and the fresh fruit is in its gemlike glory, a simple sprinkling of berries with a little sugar on top is perhaps all the gilding the lily needs. Add a few grain flours to the mix, plus some yogurt, and let the self-satisfied feelings begin.

Over the summer, my menu varies for our guests as much as seasonal ingredients and the weather dictate. However, the one item that never changes is pancakes for breakfast that first morning.

Everyone is tired from traveling and looking forward to adventure, and pancakes feel like a homey, genuine way to greet them as they relax over their first of many cups of hot coffee and the sun begins to sparkle on the surface of the ocean.

Whether as a breakfast for guests or a way to a quick and easy dinner to beat the heat and an excuse to enjoy some fresh berries, these pancakes are a snap.



¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup rye flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup corn meal

1½ tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup yogurt

½ cup whole milk

½ teaspoon lemon zest; zest from one lemon

3 tablespoons lemon juice; juice from one lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the skillet

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add all of the wet ingredients. Mix well with a whisk starting in the center and working outward. Mix only until just combined. Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

Turn the oven on to warm. Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes.

Coat the griddle with a small amount of butter and ladle the pancakes onto the griddle. When the pancakes begin to bubble on one side, it's time to flip them to the other side. Cook until they are golden brown on both sides.

Transfer the first batch to the oven to keep warm and cook the second batch. Serve immediately with fresh berries or a berry syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes.



2 cups mixed berries such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries (hulled and quartered)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and set aside while the pancakes are cooking. Serve immediately on top of the pancakes.

Makes 2 cups.



1 cup raspberries

1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the berries and the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and serve. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1½ cups of syrup.


Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea." She can be reached at chefannie@mainewindjammer.com


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