Cozy Breakfast, Dinner or Brunch

Dried oregano has thirty times the brain-healing antioxidant power of raw blueberries, forty-six times more than apples, and fifty-six times as much as strawberries, making it one of the most powerful brain cell protectors on the planet.
Daniel AmenBlueberry pancakes

All of the above!  I have loads of blueberries to use before the festival in Burgaw this year so I begin with a dreary rainy night and a simple blueberry compote recipe featuring “The Cooking Club” chef, Curtis Stone…unfortunately it started to rain so I couldn’t dash out to the path for some fresh mint, ha, the word dash is not in my physical abilities category these days, but I did have a few rooting stems in a glass by the kitchen sink so I used the leaves from a few stems in the compote and what a treat to taste with Curtis’ addition of cinnamon!  The compote takes just minutes to make and some good planning is required since one doesn’t always have ricotta in the fridge…

Blueberry Compote, adapted of course since I didn’t have the amount of mint called for!
Blueberry compote

18 ounces fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 bunch fresh mint, leaves only, roughly chopped

Pancakes:
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons (about) unsalted butter
* optionalCrème fraîche or Mascarpone cheese

To make the berry compote:

Place the blueberries, sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar melts and berries soften just slightly.
Don’t let the berries cook too long or they will become mushy and lose their beautiful shape. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the chopped mint.

In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta and egg yolks together to combine, and then whisk in the buttermilk. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the ricotta mixture. Stir with a whisk just until combined.

In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold the egg whites through the batter in 2 batches. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

On a hot griddle pan, melt some butter over medium-low heat. Working in batches, ladle the batter onto the griddle. Cook the pancakes about 3 minutes per side, or until the pancakes puff, become golden brown and are just cooked through.

Transfer the pancakes to plates. Spoon the warm blueberry compote over the pancakes. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and enjoy.