Last weekend my Instagram account was full of magical pictures of my friends and their families tapping maple trees, taste testing different syrups and learning about the process of making maple syrup. That golden sweet syrup so many of us drown our favorite weekend breakfast in has a rich past and so many varietals it can make your head spin.
Since I had missed the boat on going out and tapping trees I decided that the next best thing would be to make pancakes and just use maple syrup on them. Maybe in between bites I would also tell my littles about how maple syrup is made. But then again, maybe we would just enjoy and save the lesson for another time when sugar was not coursing through our veins.
Immediately I turned to my pancake bible, Pancakes by Adrianna Adarme. This book has seriously kicked up my breakfast — and sometimes dinner game. Gone are the standard stacks of good (but let’s face it bland cakes), replaced by Carrot Cake Pancakes (vegetables, you are welcome) and Banana Bourbon pancakes. Yes, please!
We have a ton of frozen blueberries in our freezer that my mom picked (I am not telling you how long ago) and in an effort to use some of them, I settled on the Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes. With a bit of lemon zest in there, they are truly one of my favorites. The ricotta makes the cakes nice and creamy, too.
I was planing on surprising the guys with breakfast for dinner on Sunday night after they returned from a visit with Grandma; however, when I went to the fridge to gather my ingredients, there was a small (large) problem. No eggs. My two and a half year old has become obsessed, like meltdown-he-might-not-be-able-to-go-on obsessed with cracking and mixing eggs. So after swiftly moving through a dozen eggs last week — and lots of omelets and tears — there was not an egg to be found in the house. Breakfast for dinner was postponed.
The next night, I went to Target for a night out with my girlfriends. Yes, I know, very exciting. Sometimes you just have to squeeze lady time in where you can and that can mean a trip to Target or the grocery. While there, we ended up staring at the maple syrup shelves trying to sort out all the different options. With options ranging from corn syrup with dye and flavoring to organic, it was quite overwhelming. I prefer a small amount good pure syrup myself, but those can be more of a luxury item. My husband prefers his food swimming. I kid your not, swimming in syrup. My little would ask that you pour it in a bowl for him to dip. This always turns into fingers being dipped, spoons being used like it is soup,and eventually, just drinking it out of the bowl. Needless to say I do not give them they really good stuff.
If you have some time this weekend and want to get out and experience how they make maple syrup yourself Irvine Nature Center is offering Maple Magic this weekend and again on Saturday March 5th. You can sign up on their website and they encourage you to do so ahead of time. Oregon Ridge Nature Center is celebrating all this maple this weekend, too!
PS… I used this syrup on my pancakes and it was heaven. It is dark, robust and good not only on pancakes and waffles, but yoghurt, in coffee or on ice cream. Available at Becket Hitch (my store, you know, for full disclosure).
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking power
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup ricotta
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp. pur vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
- Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the ricotta, milk, egg, lemon zest, vanilla and butter until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter should have some small to medium lumps.
- Heat your skillet over medium heat and brush with butter or vegetable oil. Using a 1/4 cup measure (I use a small ladle and find it to be just right) scoop the batter onto the skillet and swish it around a bit to make nice circles. Add 6 or 8 blueberries, or however many you want, pressing them gently into each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubble form on the surface of the pancakes, and then flip. Cook on the opposite side for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer the cooked pancakes to a baking sheet and place in a preheated 200F oven to keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more butter or vegetable oil to the skillet when needed.
- I always have left overs and find that these keep well in an airtight container. I just pop them in the toast over in the morning and they are warm, and a bit crispy and perfect in a napkin as we are walking out the door!