Tag Archives: blueberries

Blueberry Compote (with gin!)

1 Sep

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David Lebovitz said I should put gin in my blueberry compote. So I did.

In the headnote of his recipe, Lebovitz writes, “…Gin’s herbaceous flavor does indeed marry nicely with blueberries–it can hardly be tasted once cooked, but somehow it just rounds out the blueberry notes…”

I was immediately sold. I took out a saucepan, set it on the stove, and proceeded to make what is now my favorite fruit-based “condiment” of the summer (I imagine another similar summer berry, such as a blackberry, could be substituted for the blueberry).

Cooking the blueberries helped bring out that intense deep blue color and concentrated the flavor, giving off a quintessential blueberry smell. The texture of the berries changed, too, leaving the sometimes-mushy consistency of a fresh blueberry behind and highlighting a blueberry that bursts and oozes a juicy filling instead. Nature’s gushing candy!

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Toss blueberries in a pot with a little sugar and a little gin and cook the mix for just a few minutes until the blueberries soften and begin to release their juices. 

That’s the shorthand version of the recipe. 3 ingredients. 1 pot. 5 minutes.

Serve chilled, room temperature, or slightly warm. I have been enjoying the compote with a generous scoop of plain yogurt, and spooned atop pancakes. It would also pair well with: oatmeal, ice cream, cake, nut-butter toast.

Blueberry Compote (with gin!)

from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert; makes about 2 cups

*When I made the compote, I had slightly under 2 cups of blueberries. I ended up eyeballing the sugar and gin to about 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 heaping spoon of gin. If you feel comfortable eyeballing to taste, go for it. The proportions listed below are the original ones used in Lebovitz’s book.

  • 2 1/2 cups (12 ounces/340g) fresh blueberries (or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) gin (I used Hendrick’s Gin)

Combine the blueberries, sugar, and gin in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries just begin to soften and release their juices. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, and let cool to room temperature. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar, if desired.

Storage: This compote can be stored in a jar or tupperware the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  This compote is actually better when prepared a day in advance, which gives it time to thicken nicely.

Variation: If you do not want to use gin, you can substitute water and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Cast-Iron Skillet Blueberry Pancakes

22 Jul

Fresh blueberry pancakes. All of the best breakfast flavors joined forces and jumped inside these ‘jacks. There’s almond extract in the batter. And oats. And buttermilk. And a touch of OJ.

Let me tell you a little secret. I didn’t really use buttermilk in these pancakes. I faked it. Stir together 1/2 cup of milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar (I used cider vinegar, but white vinegar or even lemon juice work great, too). Let it sit for 2 minutes or so. Now you have ‘buttermilk.’ Easy in a pinch.

Once upon a time, I was afraid of my cast-iron skillet. I wanted one so bad, so then I bought one to be like all the cool kids. BUT, I was never quite sure how to clean it, I never knew if I was using it correctly, I was just confused and scared. Not to worry, we can work through this together.

To start, here are 2 great resources for cast-iron skillet cleaning and care: OneTwo.

I believe the more I cook with my skillet, the better it will get. In other words, more cooking means a more “seasoned” skillet, which, in English, basically means more of me cooking like a mad woman will create a lovely non-stick indoor grilling device.

You can grill dogs in the cast-iron skillet. You can make a Dutch Baby come out of the oven. I highly recommend you make a Cherry Clafoutis before cherry season is over. Cast-iron skillet quesadillas? Yes, please.

If it weren’t for my cast-iron skillet, I would have never produced such a perfectly golden seared pancake this morning. Truth.

Pancake Massacre. Warm blueberries exploding in your mouth with every bite you take. Sweet n’ juicy breakfast heaven.

Serve with more blueberries and perfectly ripe peaches. A winning combo.

Blueberry Pancakes

adapted from the JoytheBaker cookbook

serves 2 (4 pancakes each) **if you want more, double the recipe or triple it, etc…

NOTE: If you are making a larger batch of this recipe and want to keep your pancakes warm, heat the oven to 200 degrees F and place finished pancakes onto an ovenproof plate or tray while you cook the remaining batter. 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 medium size egg

1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup regular milk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon of butter, divided, for frying the pancakes

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, orange juice, and almond extract.

3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and whisk until just combined. Fold in the blueberries. Let the mix sit for 5 minutes while you heat your griddle or cast-iron skillet.

4. Heat the cast-iron skillet for about 5 minutes over medium heat to get it warmed up (I made some coffee while waiting for the skillet to heat). Drop in a small amount of butter, enough to coat the skillet. I used a 1/4 cup measure to portion my pancakes. Drop the batter into the hot buttered skillet (I dropped 2 pancakes at a time). Let them cook for 2 minutes, flip, then cook about 2 minutes more. Re-butter the skillet as needed and cook the remaining pancakes the same way (they will start to cook quicker now that the skillet has been on for a while, just keep an eye out).

I served my pancakes with more blueberries, fresh peach slices, a hearty helping of good-quality pure maple syrup, and strong black coffee.