To produce something good, you have to occasionally break a few eggs. And to make something spectacular, you’ll need to make a bit of a mess.

This kind of mess.

There are certain occasions that call for blueberry pancakes. A celebration of sort. Maybe it’s a promotion. Maybe it’s a birthday. Maybe, just because it’s Saturday.

If you’re going to make blueberry pancakes (particularly if you’re sitting in Australia and blueberries are around $6 a punnet), you owe it to yourself to make them special.

The best blueberry pancakes, in the world, I would hazard, come from the Clinton St Baking Company in New York City.

The last time I ate them was two and a half years ago, but I still remember the fluff and crunch and the unexpected trove of gently softened blueberries in the centre. They are the benchmark by which all other blueberry pancakes have been measured.

The universe must also think it’s about time I had those pancakes again- because I write this, from a three bedroom apartment in the Lower East Side- just one minute walk away from Clinton Street. We’re staying with one of my oldest friends in New York- and are now house sitting until Christmas day. I knew his place was in a good location from general chit chat but when he emailed me the address, I spilled my tea. ‘YOU LIVE AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE CLINTON STREET BAKING COMPANY?’ I shot back in a hastily capitalised email.

‘Yes- and during the week, they deliver’.

I wish I could share these pancakes with you. I wish I could share all the sweet joy that comes from small blueberries. But instead, I give you this recipe.  It’s not quite the same as the Clinton Street – I prefer powdered or icing sugar to caster in my batter- I think it gives a smoother texture. I also like to serve them with yoghurt as well as syrup. But the principles are the same; sift the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and in a third (yes, a third bowl) whip the egg whites. Gently fold the wet into dry and then, in two stages, the egg whites into the batter. As for the blueberries- then get carefully laid on the pancake while it cooks- this allows some precision of placement and for them to be carefully swaddled in the centre of the batter.

It’s happiness on a plate (as long as you can ignore the piles of washing up).

(nb, if Christmas breakfast hasn’t yet been sorted, I’d be putting these up for contention).

Ultimate Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes (Serves 2 very hungry ones)

(Recipe inspired and adapted from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook by Dede Lahman and Neil Kleinberg (Little, Brown and Company, 2010)

Equipment

1 whisk. 3 mixing bowls. 1 or 2 frypans. 1 soup lade. 1 spatula.

Shopping/foraging


2 cups plain flour
3/4 tablespoon of baking powder
1/3 cup powdered/icing sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs, seperated
1.5 cups of milk
80 grams melted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the frypans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/150 grams blueberries

Maple syrup to serve

Here’s how we roll

1) Sift in together the flour, baking powder, powdered sugar in one bowl. In another mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.  Combine the two and whisk together to form a smooth batter.

2) In another bowl whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form peaks that stand up, but the tips curl when you extract the spatula, like the tip of a breaking wave.

3) Add a quarter of the egg whites to the batter and fold to combine. This will help loosen the batter and make it easier to introduce the rest of the egg whites.

4) Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

5) Heat a fry pan until it is very hot (this is sometimes why a first pancake doesn’t work- the pan hasn’t had a chance to heat properly). Add a little melted butter and swirl around if you’re not confident in the non-stick capability of your pan. Add a ladle of batter to the pan and swirl until it forms an abstract circle. Srpinkle the batter with a fist of blueberries. Cook until you see bubbles coming up to the top of the batter and the bottom is crisp. Gently flip.

6) Cook on the other side until the batter is brown and the blueberries have softened and puckered. Place on a warm plate, or in a low oven until the rest of the pancakes are cooked..

7) Serve with maple syrup. I like yogurt as well. The Hungry One likes ice cream. You choose.