Herewith another great recipe for weekend brunching, adapted this time from Martha Stewart Living magazine. (I don't get pushed out of shape by The Perfect Ms. Stewart (TM) - although I find her television persona as grating as Emeril Legasse's – because I understand that she has Staff !!! I could do all that stuff, too, if I had her employees… You don't honestly believe she really irons her own sheets, do you? But there are often good ideas and recipes in the mag, and they're doing better than they used to about bylines, etc. FWIW, everything I've ever tried from Emeril has also worked well, although I'm not above messing with his stuff either. But I still can't watch either of 'em…)
Anyway, this one's a little healthier, and nothing short of seriously yummy. The apple juice concentrate is just providing a little more pectin for the blackberries, which don't have much of their own, but the compote never will really thicken (ie, it won't get to a jam-like consistency). It will be thick enough to handily stand in for syrup, though.
My mom pronounced that this Must Be Allowed to Happen Again, her highest accolade.
Whole Grain and Nut Pancakes with Blackberry Compote
Makes 12 pancakes
1 1/4 Cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
1/4 Cup cracked wheat
1/4 Cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 Cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 Cup vegetable oil (mild olive; the canola had gone rancid…)
1 large egg
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 1/2 Cup frozen blackberries
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 Cup thawed apple juice concentrate
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cup frozen blackberries (total of two 2-cup bags of Cascadian Organic; I was shopping at the natural foods store, 'cause they have all those neat grains and seeds and stuff to bake with…)
Mix together flour, cracked wheat, pecans, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in buttermilk, oil, and egg. Stir just until well mixed; batter will be thick. Let stand 10 minutes (if batter thickens, stir in 1 tablespoon water).
For the compote, heat 2 1/2 cup of berries, lemon juice, apple juice concentrate, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until berries begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Simmer, stirring often, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in remaining blackberries and continue cooking just until warm through. Remove from heat.
Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-low heat. Pour 1/3 cup batter for each pancake in skillet. Cook until edges are dry; bubbles may not appear on top. Flip carefully, and cook until brown on other side, about 2 minutes.
We live in citrus country, and participate in a save-the-groves coop, so we always have wonderful fresh-squeezed orange juice. If I'd thought about it in time, I might have done some baked bacon (on a rack, over a baking sheet, in a 350-degree F oven until about half done, then brush lightly with maple syrup – real, if you have it – and finish cooking to your desired crispness. Watch carefully!!!). And if I'd really been thinking, I'd have called my Significant-Something-or-Other and fed him, too. As it was, Mom and I ate more than we should, and still had leftovers. (The pancakes reheat nicely in the toaster oven, BTW, and Mom says the compote is good with some granola, too.)
If one must experiment further, I'm contemplating some ginger (crystallized or otherwise) in the compote, and potentially replacing the cracked wheat (which was wheat germ in the original anyway) with cornmeal. Cornmeal pancakes would probably be really good with a dried-fruit based compote, maybe in the fall…