Pancake Syrup

The Covered Dish

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What a great weekend. I took a neighbor and we journeyed down to Persimmon Hill Farms in Blue Eye, MO for a few pounds of fresh berries and ‘extras’. Brought home a famous ‘thunder muffin’ and blueberry scone. Plus, Debbie’s favorite ‘Amaretto Blueberry Sauce’, as I tell everyone: ‘Just give me a straw, this sauce is so good!’ Ice cream, pound cake, cheesecake this syrup is a dream. I used it for years at Silver Dollar City because it took my lemon pound cake to a whole new level. If you want to visit Persimmon Hill you can pick your own berries or purchase them already picked, as I did.

As a girl growing up my mom always served blueberry pancakes with a homemade blueberry sauce. Moms was made using cornstarch, which gave it a bit of a congealed look after it totally cooled. I’m not a fan of the appearance using cornstarch, plus you cannot ‘can/process’ with cornstarch inside a jar. I went with the use of pectin, and I’m pleased with the outcome. If I didn’t have pectin, I would probably place minute tapioca in my coffee grinder until it was almost powder-like in appearance and use this as a thickening agent. Drawback; this is a form of a flour now and it will not process properly in the canning process.

In this recipe I used 2 full cups of blueberries, and I truthfully think I could have used somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of berries. The strength of the syrup was very strong, great taste, however very dark in color. See my notes at the bottom of the recipe for other inputs on this subject. Without a doubt everyone felt the 1 cup of sugar was just right!

You could also experiment with a combination of maple syrup and blueberry together, lots of people enjoy this approach today. Sadly, I didn’t have any canned whipped cream on hand this morning, or that would have been yummy too.

Pancakes happen to be one of my favorite foods. Sometimes I want to pinch folks who complain that someone didn’t use ‘scratch’ pancake batter. Let’s let that go in one ear and out the other. If it’s a good mix, they will be delicious because you took the time to make them. Today I used a mix and I didn’t tell anyone that I

also added 2-3 tablespoons of cornmeal to the mix. Everyone thought they were wonderful!

Here are just a few ‘Debbie’ pancake tips:

1. Pre-heat the oven to warm or 200. Keep the cakes in the oven until you are done making all of them. Mom would do this ‘sometimes’, but most of the time she made each of us a plate right off the griddle. Here’s what’s wrong with that approach, the cook eats last, and often alone. It feels a bit disrespectful, but let’s remember years ago women did this sort of thing

a great deal. Today, it’s just not acceptable.

2. I do brush my griddle with butter or olive oil between each batch of cakes.

Usually it’s oil, because the leftover butter gets browner and browner.

3. Easy additions to pancakes are smashed bananas & maybe toasted chopped pecans. Another favorite is to add applesauce to the batter.

4. Family in McPherson, KS taught me to make pancakes with white soda pop, it gives a tremendous lift to the cakes.

5. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes after you stir it up, a few lumps are just fine too. DO NOT put pancake batter in a mixer, use a spoon!

6. Sausage, not fried like a patty! Fried, drained, crumbled sausage. Drop the pancake batter and then sprinkle maybe a tablespoon of sausage on the top. Flip as usual. These are called Grandpa’s pancakes at our house. My dad, Jerry, loves his pancakes this way, now all his great grandkids do too.

7. How to scoop out pancakes? Use a 3-tablespoon scoop. Each one will be consistent in size and will bake evenly.

8. In the column I share the easy blueberry syrup, but you know I have another idea. If you ever get in a big bind purchase blueberry jam. Thin it down with a bit of water, use a whisk to get it smooth, you could even thin it down with white soda, perhaps a lemon lime. Heat thoroughly. I almost did this the last time I made blueberry cakes for my dad. I stopped on the way home for berries, there were none in the store. We just used maple instead, but hey, I’m pretty sure all of us could make this work.

9. Melt the butter for pancakes, believe it or not it saves on the amount used.

10. We use ‘real’ maple syrup, and the usual grocery store labels. The real maple syrup should be kept in the refrigerator, the processed kind has LOTS of preservatives and can be kept in the cabinet. Believe me, you don’t want to use the maple syrup and see mold all over an $8. bottle.

Just wondering why we can’t keep the homemade syrup going during peach and apple seasons????? It’s better for the family.

Alrighty, get the pancakes flippin’, and enjoy a big breakfast with the family. Oh yes, pancakes just happen to be a very economical way to entertain. We always used pancake breakfasts to help raise money for church camp each year. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Blueberry pancake sauce

2 cups squished berries, wash first, of course,

1 cup water

1 tablespoon pectin

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring, after it has cooled for about 10 minutes. *

OR fresh lemon zest, omitting the almond flavoring.

Small berries for cakes, chunky berries for sauce.

My Surejel had 4 tablespoons of powdered product, I suggest measuring it out every time.

Follow the instruction on the pectin box as if you were making jam.

Canning the sauce: I believe you could only do 1-1/2 cups of berries, and still be pleased with the outcome, I would raise the water content for every 1/2 cup less of berries, add 1/2 cup of additional water. After the jars are filled with the hot product, seal with flats and rings, then hot water bath boiling the jars about 10 minutes for 2-3 jars. Remove from bath, listen for the pings, and monitor for sealing. If it didn’t seal feel free to use a new flat and redo the process. Do all the jars make a ping, nope, not always.

*If you are making these cakes and sauce for a bunch of Northeast Missouri farmers, I would totally omit the almond flavoring, or use only 1-2 drops, so they are hardly aware of the undertone.

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