Thursday, July 16, 2009


Over the weekend, some of my siblings and my family went blueberry picking.  Great fun.  Lots of berries.

On Sunday morning, we were all together (27 of us) at my parents home inthe country.  I cooked up several batches of  Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. They were fantastic.  The recipe I used is from the current  issue of Cooks Illustrated Magazine, .  

For those who are unfamiliar with this magazine and website, it is a great resource for all things related to cooking.  The staff at Cooks Illustrated exhaustively tests every recipe until the find the best approach to the final dish.  I subscribe to the online version, for about $40.00 per year.  This affords me access the the archives of the magazine.  I have available recipes, equipment reviews, how to videos...
Can say enough good things.

Best Blueberry Pancakes

Makes sixteen 4-inch pancakes; Serves 4 to 6.   Published July 1, 2009.   From Cook's Illustrated.

The pancakes can be cooked on an electric griddle. Set the griddle temperature to 350 degrees and cook as directed. The test kitchen prefers a lower-protein all-purpose flour like Gold Medal or Pillsbury. If you use an all-purpose flour with a higher protein content, like King Arthur, you will need to add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.


2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces) (see note)
2tablespoons sugar
1/2teaspoon table salt
1teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon baking soda
2cups buttermilk
1/4cup sour cream
2large eggs
3tablespoon unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 - 2teaspoons vegetable oil


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set inside baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, ba

    king powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with few streaks of flour). Do not overmix. Allow batter to sit 10 minutes before cooking.

From the May 2009 issue, I used the Best Blueberry Muffins, recipe this morning.  
It is a very good recipe.  But I am not convinced that you need the extra step of cooking some of the blueberries and swirling them into the batter.  As a matter of fact, I hat more batter than the 12, muffins it was supposed to yield, (my muffin cups may have been smaller than theirs) so I made six muffins with out the added swirl and they were equally as delicious.  
Make them for yourself and let me know what you think.

Best Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.   Published May 1, 2009.   From Cook's Illustrated.

If buttermilk is unavailable, substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned w

ith 1/4 cup milk


Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3cup sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
1 1/2teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
2cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), picked over
1 1/8cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon table salt
2large eggs
4tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1/4cup vegetable oil
1cup buttermilk (see note)
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. 1. FOR THE TOPPING: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

  2. 2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, un

    til berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

  4. 4. Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divid

    e batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

  5. 5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rota

    ting muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

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