I wish there was an interesting back story for this, but there really isn’t. I wanted blueberry pancakes, so I made them. In order to make them worthy of blogging, I added the vanilla mascarpone cream as a less frosty alternative to ice-cream and a more substantial alternative to whipped cream. It’s perfect for taking these pancakes from regular to decadent.
I should note, I originally tried to make these as ‘buttermilk’ pancakes. I’ve read over and over again that buttermilk can make pancakes really fluffy. I’ve tried to use buttermilk to make pancakes twice now and it hasn’t been a success. I love fluffy pancakes, and I find making them with regular milk and decent quantity of baking powder to be the most reliable way to lighten the batter. That said, if you have a go-to pancake recipe, just use that and add the blueberries and mascarpone.
Make the mascarpone cream first so it has time to chill and firm up in the fridge. My only real tip for this would be use authentic vanilla, that is, the bean itself or the paste. In this case I would recommend the paste (it’s what I used) as proper vanilla beans are expensive and are better used for infusing/cooking. Vanilla essence and extract are hideous, bastardised versions of what is actually a smooth, luxurious flavour. I was at a gelato shop recently and I heard a moron behind me remark ‘pfft who would get vanilla…that’s so boring’. Buddy, you are entitled to your opinion, but your opinion is wrong. Vanilla is fabulous, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
For the pancakes, whisk the dry ingredients until fine and smooth before adding the wet ingredients. It’s a lot easier to prevent lumps by doing this than to get rid of them after combining everything.
Time is not the best measure for cooking pancakes. I know I wrote 1-1.5 minutes per side below, but really you gotta look for the popped bubbles. That’s when you flip. The next side should only take about a minute, but take a peek underneath and look for the golden brown colour.
Usually pancake batter will spread out in a circle when poured into the center of a pan, so it’s fairly easy to make them round. When you add blueberries, this is just not so. I first tried to add blueberries to the batter and then pour it into the pan. All I got were alien shaped pancakes. The second time I poured out the batter and stuck the blueberries in while it was cooking and the result was a little better. Whatever…there’s nothing charming about a perfectly round pancake anyway.
Tip: try not to stack the pancakes until you’re just about to eat/serve them so they retain their fluffiness!
Take some arty photos when you’re done.
Vanilla Mascarpone Cream:
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 150mL thickened cream
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1-2tbsp sugar (to taste)
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp melted and cooled butter
- Beat mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla with electric beater until stiff peaks form (shouldn’t take long at all). Chill.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk egg until pale, then whisk in other wet ingredients.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and then whisk all together until smooth.
- Using a paper towel, grease a heavy-bottomed pan with butter and place over low-medium heat.
- Ladle about 1/2 cup of batter into the pan. Carefully place blueberries in the poured batter.
- After about 1-1.5 minutes, when bubbles appear and start popping, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-1.5 minutes.
- To keep warm, place cooked pancakes on an oven tray and leave them in the oven at a low temperature, around 100C.
- Serve stacked, with extra blueberries, a dollop of the vanilla mascarpone cream on top and drizzled with maple syrup.