Pomegranate Arils, Blueberries and Sourdough Starter… and suddenly there were pancakes! This recipe was one that simply came about out of happenstance. Those are usually the best kind.
After working diligently on my sourdough starter for the last several weeks, I am always trying to find new uses for it, as it needs to be fed daily and that means, “Use it or lose it” (More on my sourdough project and how you can make your own starter here). The starter must be divided daily (or better yet twice daily) and fed unless refrigerated to continue yeast production. This leaves me with about 1 ½ cups of starter every day. I have been baking different shapes of sourdough bread and experimenting with various kinds of flours and baking methods. I have used the starter in various recipes, batter for squash blossoms and pancakes are among the things I have found joy in creating. I no longer need recipes, I know the texture I need for bread and those needed for other things. And so Sunday morning I decided to whip up a batch of pancakes.
I had blueberries in the fridge, but only a handful. I had just harvested the arils from three pomegranates and put them in a bag. Generally from October to February I use the arils in a variety of ways, eating out of hand, in salads and my favorite way, in a glass of bubbly champagne.
It was a natural course of experimentation that brought me to wonder how the arils would do in the pancakes. Here is how I made them (keep in mind these amounts are approximations, I did no measuring):
1 ½ cups Sourdough Starter
1-1/2 cups bread flour
¾ cup of milk or buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
½ teaspoon of salt
Whisk all together and allow to sit for 15 minutes, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid or flour to make a nice batter. I do a small test pancake to see if the batter is the right consistency. Sourdough pancakes are usually not thick, but you do not want them too thin either, especially if you are adding fruit.
Heat a griddle and spray with non-stick spray
When the griddle is hot enough for water to bounce off of, you are ready to do the pancakes. You will need to work quickly. So have a warming drawer or a very low heated oven ready to hold the pancakes as you take them off of the griddle.
Pour about ½ cup of batter onto the griddle in one corner and again in another corner.
Onto each pancake add some blueberries and then fill in the spaces with pomegranate arils. Wait till tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the batter (about 1 minute) and flip carefully. Cook another minute and then lift a corner of a pancake to see how it is browning. It should be golden brown in some spots. If it is, flip it back over and then inspect the pancake to be sure it is done in the middle. Remove to the warming platter.
Serve with maple syrup and butter.
Notes: If you do not want to make sourdough starter you can use your favorite pancake recipe and use buttermilk instead of milk. This will add some of the tart taste that sourdough has, which will play on the sweetness of the fruit and syrup. Of course it will not have the complexity of sourdough. Another thing you can do with this recipe is play with various fruits. That is how I came to add the pomegranate. I think pomegranate/mango or pomegranate papaya would be excellent. I also have made ohelo berry pancakes… there are few limits on the fun to be had here.