Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

It’s Shrove Tuesday tomorrow aka Pancake day! Pick up some sour cream today and make up this batter tonight, then you will be all set for tomorrow!

Selma's Table

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

I’ve been making pancakes at the weekends for as long as J can remember.  He loves them; his friends love them; my friends love them. I’ve made them with spelt flour, buckwheat flour, self raising flour, wholewheat flour; I’ve added coconut flakes to the mix and made all sorts of quick fruit compotes to go with them; I’ve cooked them in coconut oil. But in the end, I always return to these ones – they really are the nicest. Simple, straightforward with ingredients that I usually always have on hand.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

The acid in the sour cream is what makes these so delicious – it produces tender pancakes that are light and moist. If you don’t have any sour cream, you can use buttermilk and if you don’t have buttermilk just add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to milk and leave it to thicken for 15 minutes or so.

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Baked Fruit and Oatmeal

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealOatmeal is not something I enjoyed as a child. My memories of porridge is that it was quite thin and watery and not very tasty at all – which is quite at odds with the delicious food I grew up with. When I began baking in my teens, I found that oatmeal was brilliant to make chewy chocolate chip cookies with.  I also discovered those packets of flavoured instant oats which bolstered me up during what felt like endless sessions of binge revision. As a mother of a school age child, I knew how nutritious and sustaining porridge is for those dark, cold, wintery school mornings and set about making it delicious as well. I don’t know if this is how you make it but I put a cup of oats in a pan and toast them slightly, I then add 2 cups of milk and one of water and stir over a medium low heat until thick and creamy. I ladle a portion into a shallow rimmed bowl, shake over some cinnamon and sprinkle it with 1 dessert spoonful of Demerara  sugar which goes syrupy. I peel a tangerine or a clementine and arrange the segments around the lip of the bowl like chubby rays of sunshine. Sometimes, I add some frozen blueberries to the bottom of bowl before ladling in the porridge. By the time my son gets to the table, dressed for school, the porridge has cooled down sufficiently to not delay him and I am quietly smug in the knowledge that he’s not going to be experiencing that mid morning sugar crash AND that I’ve managed to get 1 or 2 portions of fruit in him already. At the weekends, breakfasts are a more leisurely affair; eggs and sausages or french toast or pancakes but oatmeal doesn’t figure.

Until now, that is. I saw a photo for Oatmeal Casserole (which sounds a little grim, don’t you think?) on Pinterest and then surfed through several recipes for Baked Oatmeal, many of which included chocolate. This is my version which is full of healthy ingredients and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s warm, fruity, nutty and chewy. It takes about 15 minutes to put together and needs half an hour in the oven, filling the kitchen with gorgeous aromas as it bakes. It is ideal for a weekend breakfast. Left overs can be taken into to work or frozen in portions and warmed up in the microwave. You can chop and change the fruit and nuts to suit your palate or take into account what is in your cupboards. This is also something that you could bake in the evening during the week, to effortlessly have ready for the following morning.

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealPlace the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, dried fruit and half the blueberries in a large bowl.

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealGrate in the orange zest and mix thoroughly.

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealSlice one banana and arrange on the bottom of the oven safe dish. Cover with the dried mixed ingredients (which I forgot to photograph!)

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealJuice the orange.

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealWhisk the wet ingredients together in the same mixing bowl you used for the dry ingredients. (If you want to substitute honey or agave syrup for the sugar, add it now, to the wet ingredients.) I find that it is best to “temper” melted butter by slowly whisking in a little cold milk into it and then adding it to everything else. Otherwise, the melted butter just solidifies into fat globules that float on top.

IMG_6150Slowly and gently, pour the wet mixture over the oatmeal mix.

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealScatter over the remaining blueberries and the coconut flakes. (If you wish to use desiccated coconut instead, mix it in with the dry ingredients.) Slice the second banana and arrange over the top and bake for half an hour. (A scattering of pumpkin or sunflower seeds would be nice too.)

Baked-fruit-and-oatmeal

Baked-fruit-and-oatmealServe warm with a dollop of yoghurt.

I have included some vegan options for the dairy and egg but these are untested by me. Thanks to Susan Edelman of watchhatchfly for the information!

Baked Fruit and Oatmeal

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups oats (anything but instant or quick cook)
  • 1/4 cup muscavodo (or brown) sugar plus enough for a sprinkle later
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup walnut pieces – broken up to make them smaller
  • ½ cup dried mixed fruit like cranberries and cherries or apricots and raisins or dates
  • 1 cup of blueberries divided into two portions
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 3tbsp/45g  melted butter (or vegan soy spread/coconut oil)
  • 2 cups milk ( or soy milk/almond milk/rice milk)
  • 1 large egg ( or applesauce/mashed banana/vegan egg replacer/ground chia and flax seeds)
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • yoghurt to serve (or coconut milk or soy milk yoghurt)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Butter or oil an oven safe dish (mine is 28 x 20cm/11″x 8″).
  3. Thoroughly mix the first 9 ingredients (using only half the blueberries)  in a large bowl to distribute everything evenly.
  4. Slice one banana and arrange on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Cover with the dry mixed ingredients.
  6. In the same bowl that you used for the dry ingredients, lightly whisk the egg.
  7. Slowly whisk a a cup of milk into the cooled butter to amalgamate it and pour it and the second cup of milk onto the whisked egg together with the vanilla and the orange juice and whisk again.
  8. Slowly and evenly pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients.
  9. Scatter over the remaining portion of blueberries and the coconut flakes (some seeds would be nice too).
  10. Top with the slices from the second banana.
  11. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
  12. Sprinkle a little more brown sugar over the top and leave to cool a little.
  13. Serve warm with yoghurt.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry TartA couple of times a year a four of us meet up at one of London’s food markets to browse the stalls, refreshments in hand, to decide on a menu for that evening, depending on what is available.

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Bread cubes, sometimes dipped in olive oil, are nibbled, cheese is greedily sampled, vegetables are gently prodded, seafood is admired and appraised, meat is pondered and sometimes a little matchmaking is attempted. But that is another story!

Over more refreshments, the menu is finalised, purchases are made, wine is bought and we repair to one of our homes, usually M & B’s, to spend the rest of the afternoon prepping and cooking to produce a tasting menu of 6 – 8 dishes. One of my favourites is a seared scallop on small disc of crispy black pudding with a mustard and creme fraiche sauce. I think that N has made this every time now – it’s a regular on our “menu”.  We all have some idea of what we would like to cook before we get to the market and I usually bring something pre-made with me. Once I made pasta dough and brought my pasta roller because I wanted to make a ravioli – medley of mushroom as it turned out and once I made a mustard and rhubarb relish which I wanted to serve with mackerel but there were none to be had in the market that day. Sometimes we invite friends who arrive in the evening together with our family members and it is always a warm, convivial day finishing late into the night.

We never make a pudding as we would all much rather have a cheese course but once (3 years ago according to my notes), I made this Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart to have just incase anyone felt like a sliver of something sweet and I have been making it ever since.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

It takes minutes to blitz the pastry base and slice the plums and then it spends 3/4’s of an hour or so in the oven, with an irresistible smell wafting out of the kitchen for the duration.

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Tip into baking tin

Tip into baking tin

Pat very gently to form an even layer

Pat very gently and lightly to form an even layer

Plum carnage

Plum carnage…

Sliced plums laid on the base

Sliced plums laid on the base

Scattering of blueberries

Scattering of blueberries

Cooling on a rack

Cooling on a rack

For this tart to work, it is desirable to have a contrast of sweet biscuit-like pastry base and the sour plums – Victoria plums (the oval purplish ones) won’t work. Because the pastry base has a higher sugar content, it will colour to a gorgeous golden brown. I am battling with a really horrible oven – though not for much longer – which scorches everything so the fruit does look a little singed but this contrasts beautifully with the tart jammy interior of the fruit and the crumbly, nutty biscuit like base.  In the past I have added a few drops of almond extract to the base to boost the flavour and I have also added cinnamon to it. Once I didn’t have enough ground almonds and added flaked ones to bolster up the quantity. All were successful additions. There are lots of plums around at the moment so this is the perfect time to try this easy recipe.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

adapted slightly from the wonderful blog, Orangette by Molly Wizenberg

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g flour
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • 45g cool butter, cubed
  • 4-6 juicy slightly tart, juicy plums
  • 100g of blueberries (a handful really)

You will also need a 22 cm loose bottomed  or springform tin, the bottom lined with a parchment circle.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/375F
  2. Using a food processor; Place the flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Pour in the egg and butter cubes and process until it looks like damp sand. It takes about one minute!
  3. If you are making it by hand, place the  flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well to combine. Add the egg and butter and using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut the mixture together until it starts to clump and there is no flour showing.
  4. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and gently pat down to even out into one layer – you mustn’t compact it and nor should you pat it up the sides. it should just be one even layer.
  5. De-stone 4 of the plums by cutting in half and twisting. Depending on the size of the plums, slice each half into 3 or 4 slices and lay in two circles on top of the pastry. Leave a little margin of pastry between the edge of the tin and the fruit.  If you need more fruit then use the additional plums.  Scatter over the blueberries.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, checking after 40 minutes.
  7. The tart is ready when the pastry has puffed up a little around the fruit and has taken on a golden hue with a deeper colour to the edges.
  8. Cool in the tin, on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove the sides to finish cooling.
  9. Can be served warm or cold with a spoonful of creme fraiche or a scoop of ice-cream.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

I’ve been making pancakes at the weekends for as long as J can remember.  He loves them; his friends love them; my friends love them. I’ve made them with spelt flour, buckwheat flour, self raising flour, wholewheat flour; I’ve added coconut flakes to the mix and made all sorts of quick fruit compotes to go with them; I’ve cooked them in coconut oil. But in the end, I always return to these ones – they really are the nicest. Simple, straightforward with ingredients that I usually always have on hand.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

The acid in the sour cream is what makes these so delicious – it produces tender pancakes that are light and moist. If you don’t have any sour cream, you can use buttermilk and if you don’t have buttermilk just add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to milk and leave it to thicken for 15 minutes or so.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

The addition of a little baking soda is really important here – when baking soda meets with an acid (like sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, etc) there is a chemical reaction which results in the production of carbon dioxide, water and a salt. This reaction happens at room temperature before exposure to any heat and is what makes the pancake batter fluffy while still sitting in the bowl.  Joy the Baker has a really good explanation of baking powder vs baking soda here.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

I tend to buy punnets of blueberries in the height of summer and stash them in the freezer. I just pop them onto the pancakes frozen. By the time the pancakes have been flipped, the blueberries have not only thawed but have heated through completely.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Because I make them so regularly, I bought a really wide 32 cm non-stick pan which I also use to make cocktail sized blinis for parties. The larger surface facilitates making a lot of pancakes in a shorter space of time.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Left over pancakes are eaten standing at the fridge, when J comes home from school at the same time as asking when dinner will be ready…for the more civilised among you, these re-heat really well in a low oven or in the microwave.

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

Sour Cream and Cinnamon Pancakes with Blueberries

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Makes about 18 x 4 inch pancakes – enough for 3 – 4 servings or double up the recipe for larger portions or more people.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup/125 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 150 ml sour cream (or buttermilk or mix one teaspoon of vinegar into 150ml of milk and let it sit for 15 minutes until it thickens)
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp/30g melted butter in a medium sized bowl and cooled slightly
  • Punnet of  blueberries
  • Butter for the pan
  • Maple syrup to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Measure out and place the first 6 ingredients (which are the dry ones) in a mixing bowl and give it a good whisking to evenly distribute the ingredients and aerate the mixture.
  2. Crack the egg into the cooled melted butter and whisk until it is a uniform creamy mass – I find that this helps the butter to be more evenly distributed.
  3. Loosen the sour cream by pouring in a little milk into it and whisking until smooth. Then pour this into the egg mix and whisk until there are no lumps left, finally add the rest of the milk and whisk thoroughly once more.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a circular stirring motion, gently stir to draw in the dry ingredients to the middle, being careful not to over mix – a few floury patches are fine. It should be quite thick and a bit lumpy.
  5. SET ASIDE for 1/2 an hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  6. Once the batter has rested the surface will be covered in holes and  bubbles – this is just how it should be. Don’t, whatever you do, stir the batter at this stage. You just want to scoop out tablespoonfuls, straight into the frying pan.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 75 C or very low. Get an oven proof dish out and a piece of foil to cover it with.
  8. Put the widest non-stick fry pan  you have, on a medium low heat. If it is too high, the outside burns before the insides are cooked…Once the pan is hot, brush with a little butter (I stick a piece on the end of a table knife and swipe it around the pan, cringing whenever the metal touches the non-stick base).
  9. Using a tablespoon, scoop out and place the batter on the pan – I can get 4 to 5 pancakes going in mine but it is a rather large pan. The batter spreads so just try spacing 3 out to start with.
  10. Once the batter is in the pan, plop 3 or 4 blueberries on the top of each pancake. They will need to cook for 3 minutes or so. Keep checking and also keep an eye on the heat which you may have to keep adjusting. (Just have a peek under the pancake, by lifting a corner with a spatula, to see how it is colouring)
  11. When the tops of the pancakes have lots of holes in them, it is time to flip them over.  If a blueberry escapes, just push it back under. This side will not take as long to cook – about a minute – so keep an eye on them. When they are done, remove them to the ovenproof platter, loosely cover with foil and pop them in the oven. Carry on with the next round, lightly buttering the pan when you need to and keeping an eye on the heat.
  12. Serve with proper Canadian maple syrup.

Substitutions
Bananas. Don’t add the blueberries. After all the pancakes are done, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and melt a little butter in it. Then slice up a couple of not too squishy bananas straight into the pan and let them caramelise, flipping over once. Serve on top of the pancakes with maple syrup.