I love summer for so many reasons. I love the farmer’s markets that pop up in every town. I love the way springtime gardening finally pays off, my raised beds bursting at the seams with life. And I LOVE the way the natural world offers up its own fruits, wild and delicious and organic in every sense. And here in the Northwest, I don’t think anything is easier to find wild than blackberries.
It’s really the one time of year these overzealous, thorny weeds become something beautiful and desired. The warm weather ripens the deep-purple berries quickly. If you eat them right off of the bush, they burst in your mouth with the warmth of the summer sun.
I let my two-year-old daughter pick them with me this year. She had her own little bucket to collect the berries in, which I had to keep encouraging her to use. Over the entire hour we were picking, I saw a total of three berries go in her bucket. But then she ate those too . . .
I’m okay with that. I love to see the same enthusiasm in her that I have for foraging. She looked at me with her purple berry-stained mouth and just kept saying, “I pick berries, momma! I pick berries!”
So I woke up the next morning and looked at that big juicy bowl of blackberries, and I thought, “breakfast!” And what better way to highlight the flawless flavor of the berries than to pair them with some hearty wheat pancakes? I have a hard time justifying a stack of refined, white carbs as a morning meal, but make it whole grain and I’m on board.
Not only are we eating whole grains here, but blackberries are a superfood in their own right. According to Oregon State University, they contain more cancer-fighting antioxidants than the amazing blueberry, and even have anti-viral properties. And they’re free!
I’ve always thought it was a shame to take something as healthy and fresh as berries and overload them with sugar. There comes a point when the sugar just takes over the flavor. In this recipe, I added just a touch of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the berries. What I ended up with tasted like pure essence of blackberry, and that’s a really, really good thing.
I let the coulis get really nice and reduced, and then it cooled off and thickened even more while I made the pancakes. This gave me a thick and luxurious jam-like sauce, but with a flavor worlds beyond jam. If you want the sauce to run more like pancake syrup, don’t let it reduce as long on the stove and serve it warm.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- butter for frying (about 1 tbsp.)
- 3 cups blackberries
- 1 tbsp sugar
To make Wheat Pancakes:
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl until well combined. Add milk, honey, and oil and stir to combine.
- Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients all at once to the large bowl of wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Add a small pat of butter (about 1/2 tsp) to a heated pan over medium-low.
- Once butter melts, pour 1/4 cup pancake batter directly on the puddle of butter.
- Fry until the pancake holds its shape when a spatula is slid underneath (2-3 minutes). Flip.
- Fry until the second side is golden brown, then remove to a plate.
- Repeat from step 4 with the remaining batter.
To make Blackberry Coulis:
- Add berries and 2 tbsp water to a small saucepan.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and mashing berries with a spoon.
- Add sugar and continue simmering 5-10 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Strain berries through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Serve warm over pancakes, or cool for a jam-like consistency.
Yield: 8-10 pancakes with sauce
Calories per serving: 405