banana and blueberry pancakes

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As it turns out, studying for the bar is no fun. No fun at all. But if there’s anything that makes it okay, ridiculously fluffy homemade banana pancakes must be high on the list. This past Sunday, I thought we would take a break from memorizing the law by indulging in a traditional lazy, full-fat, extra-syrup brunch, and for the first time, I decided to make pancakes from scratch instead of reliable old Aunt Jemima. It turns out that it might be even easier than premade mix (me, for once, deciding not to buy premade things!), to the point where I don’t know why I didn’t do it before. And it was absolutely worth the sluggish non-studying we did the rest of the day.


I made half blueberry and half banana pancakes, with a pancake mix base I got from Jamie Cooks It Up (thank you!)  One slight hiccup for us — what Jamie suggests, and what I found that many other recipes also suggested, is to make the dry pancake mix in bulk, and then scoop out a cup or so to mix with wet ingredients in individual batches. This is a pretty great idea, especially since the dry mix keeps for months, but because we don’t eat pancakes very often, and because we’re a teeny household of two, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever finish it. So I modified the dry portion of the recipe down to just a single batch’s worth (which included a bit of vague number fiddling and odd amounts and was probably a bit inaccurate, but hey, it worked).  Note: My go-to buttermilk pancake base is now this version (you know, without all the Nutella and espresso) adopted from Joy the Baker’s recipe.

And one last note on cast-iron — I also took the opportunity to try out my cast-iron skillet to make pancakes for the first time, and it was just amazing.  Not only did is it key to evenly golden brown pancakes, since it holds heat at low settings incredibly well, it also manages to perfectly caramelize the bananas to add a touch of burnt complexity to the pancakes.  There are so many more things I could say about cast-iron (crispy bacon!  fighting anemia!) but I’ll save that for another day.

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Homemade Banana and Blueberry Pancakes
modified to serve 2, adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up

1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk (for buttermilk pancakes, use 1 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup milk, blended well)
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 small banana, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk well.
2. Add milk, but don’t combine yet.
3. Beat egg in a separate small bowl until frothy; add to milk and dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
4. Add melted butter and whisk until combined.
5. Heat a pat of butter or a bit of oil in a skillet or griddle (cast-iron!!!) over medium-low heat. Make sure surface is well-coated. It should be nice and shiny.
6. When water droplets hiss and evaporate immediately, pour batter in 1/4 cup portions into skillet. Lay pieces of banana or blueberries (or both?!) evenly over batter.

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7.When bubbles form in the pancake and start to pop, flip pancake and let cook on the other side (fruit-down) for an additional 2-3 minutes, before removing to a plate.

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8. Repeat until batter is gone, then serve!  (Or, if you’re prone to eating them off the platter with your fingers — won’t say if that’s me — serve to others as pancakes become ready, so that they’re still warm and maximally fluffy … and not eaten.)

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Aunt Jemima made an appearance, after all!

Thank you so much for reading!

5 comments

  1. says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

    You’re studying for the bar?? Good luck!! I see you know Nancy from Gotta Get Baked–love all these baking lawyers! My mom is also a lawyer so I can sympathize with how much work you must be going through!

    And totally agree–I’m studying for the GMAT which is NOT fun, but it makes baking/cooking so much more fun! Such a great break. These pancakes would totally make everything better!

    ALSO: I grew up on Krusteaz pancake mix, which I really don’t like–the day I discovered Bisquick, I was SOLD. Have you tried either of those and is Aunt Jemimah your absolute fav? Or is that just what you’ve always used? I’m very curious to try it…

    • says:

      September 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Aw, thank you soo much!! Thankfully my boyfriend and I both took the bar at the end of July, but we won’t find out whether we passed until November so any luck is still much much needed. And yes!! Nancy is my beacon of hope that you can still maintain a blog while lawyering 🙂 We’ll see if I can follow her example very shortly (eek)

      Baking and cooking while studying is so irresistible! Your brain needs food to work guys. Everybody knows this. Also, studying burns calories. Also, calories ingested during bar study do not count. (These were my go-to justifications.)

      Ha and I LOVE that you use mixes too!! I always feel so guilty when I use one, but they’re just SO GOOD sometimes (Ghirardelli brownie mix — I’m convinced there’s nothing better.) I’ve never used Krusteaz (it sounds a bit questionable from the name alone, don’t you think?) but I think I’ve just used Aunt Jemima when it’s been handy, and have bought both Bisquick and Aunt Jemimah indiscriminately in the past. I think Bisquick MIGHT also be my fav but it’s been a long time since I’ve used it! I used to put Reese’s Pieces in whenever I used a mix 😉 which I think would prob carry any mix, no matter how weak. (It’s my fav pancake mix-in! I was planning to try them with your buckwheat recipe!)

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