Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beer for Breakfast Part 2 - Blueberry Ale Pancakes

Let’s talk about fruit flavoured beers. They’ve got fruit in them, which in my books makes them a healthy choice. Berries especially – they are full of antioxidants and stuff that will make you live forever or something. Not everyone is a fan of fruit in their beer, which is fair enough. They are a bit of a novelty, but maybe their place is in the kitchen?

You could make pancakes with almost any beer probably, but fruit beers add that lovely fruity (healthy) twist that works really well in the pancake format. I’ve made these before with a few raspberry beers – there are a couple of good ones that are pretty easy to get your hands on – but I was pretty excited to find Prickly Moses had made a blueberry hefweizen. Blueberries are by far my favourite of the berry kingdom.

The theory is that the carbonation in the beer makes the pancakes light and fluffy. I’ve actually found this isn’t always the case with the raspberry beers, but it’s entirely possible that I’ve been doing it wrong. Sometimes beer pancakes tend to be a bit flatter and have a more chewy texture – they’re not tough, but have more bite to them. Having said that, I actually like the beer pancakes better. Maybe it’s just knowing that there is delicious craft beer inside them – it warms the cockles or something.

However, the blueberry hef actually did make for fluffy pancakes. Could it be the difference between blueberries and raspberries? Or maybe the hefeweisen influence?Either way, they puffed right up and tasted pretty delicious.

The pancake recipe I used is from here, but I didn't have butter, so subbed with yogurt. It makes enough for two and it also leaves a little beer in the bottle which you can use to make a beery syrup to go on top.

The makings of a good start:

1 cup plain flour, sifted
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of Blueberry Hefeweizen
(Or Raspberry Ale)
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt

Blueberry syrup:
Remainder of the beer
(about ½ cup)
1 ½ Tablespoons blueberry jam
2 Tablespoons of honey

Fresh or frozen blueberries

(If you are using Raspberry beer, just substitute the blueberry jam for raspberry)

Getting it together right:

For the Pancakes, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients together (egg, beer and yogurt) in another bowl or jug. Add the wet to the dry and whisk until all the lumps are gone and the ingredients are combined. How easy is that!

Heat oil or butter in a frypan over medium heat. Spoon or pour batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes. Flip and cook until finished on the other side.

For the Blueberry Syrup, combine ingredients in a small pot and reduce over medium heat by half, stirring so it doesn’t stick or burn.

Pour the syrup over your pancakes. If blueberries are in season, scatter some over the top for an added extra boost of berry goodness, or use frozen ones.

Would it be irresponsible to suggest a beer to drink with breakfast? I guess you could be having pancakes at any time of the day. Still, a good Saison would go wonderfully with this at any time of the day. Try the Bridge Road Saison.

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