I met Ree Drummond– aka The Pioneer Woman— at last summer’s BlogHer conference in San Diego, CA. To many of us in the food blogging world, Ree is an inspiration… she’s sort of like the “queen bee” of food bloggers. Her site has millions of devoted fans. In fact, her following is so strong that she was recently given a show on Food Network called– what else?– The Pioneer Woman! I’m a big fan of Ree’s website. In fact, I like her site so much that I hunted down her original web designer, Heather at OMSH, to help me with my own site’s redesign (one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made– thanks Heather!). The Pioneer Woman is one of the few blogs that regularly makes me laugh out loud. She’s got a great sense of humor. And if all that weren’t enough, she happens to be a genuinely nice person. If you haven’t checked out her site yet, go now! Don’t wait. You won’t be sorry.
A couple of weeks ago, Ree sent me an advance copy of her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Food From My Frontier. This is Ree’s second cookbook– her first book (which I own) was wildly successful, so I was excited to see what goodies the second book contained. I wasn’t disappointed! The pictures alone are worth the purchase. She’s an expert in the art of taking mouth-watering photos.
Since it’s BRINNER WEEK here on the blog (breakfast for dinner– check out my Brinner Week Giveaway by clicking here), I thought it would be fun to make a batch of Ree’s Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. This is one of many fabulous recipes in Food From My Frontier, and Ree was happy to let me share it with you. Consider it a sneak peak into the book. Lucky you, it was released today!
A quick note– those who are strictly kosher will not be able to use some of the recipes in this book. Ree is known for her down home, country-style comfort food. That said, there are some dishes that will work with the kosher lifestyle, and others can be modified with a little creativity. Those who are not kosher will enjoy Ree’s homey take on classic American favorites like Hot Wings, Bananas Foster, Twice Baked New Potatoes, and my personal favorite– Strawberry Shortcake Cake with cream cheese frosting. Wowza!
And then of course, there are these delicious Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. Excuse me while I go jump on the elliptical for a few hours. Totally worth it!
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- 1 large lemon (or more if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (or more if needed) (12 oz can)
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp cake flour (or more if needed)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 heaping tbsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp sugar (or more to taste - I used 6 tbsp)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp melted butter (plus more for serving)
- Warmed pure maple or pancake syrup for serving
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Add the lemon juice to the evaporated milk and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes to thicken. (At this point, I tasted the milk and added additional lemon juice to taste-- I ended up needing a little more juice to get that nice, lemony flavor.)
- In a large bowl, combine cake flour with salt, baking powder, and sugar. Ree says you may need more sugar to offset the tartness of the lemon. I ended up doubling the amount the recipe called for, which worked out great for my family in terms of flavor.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest to the evaporated milk. Whisk to blend.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry slowly, stirring gently to blend. When I made this, there was a bit too much liquid which made the batter soupy, so I had to add some additional flour to thicken it. I suggest adding the liquid slowly, a portion at a time, till the mixture is thick but still pourable. Be sure not to overmix it--a few lumps are okay. Fold in the blueberries and melted butter. Add more evaporated milk (or regular milk) if the mixture seems too thick. As Ree notes, "it needs to be slightly pourable, just not ploppable."
- Heat the nonstick griddle or skillet over medium low heat (nonstick is important here-- I used a regular skillet, and the sugary juice from the blueberries created a sticky mess that was hard to clean). Use butter or nonstick cooking oil spray to grease the pan. If using nonstick spray, spray the pan away from any open flames.
- Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the cooking surface. Let them cook slowly till golden brown on both sides. Flip them when bubbles rise to the surface of the batter and the edges of the batter start to look dry.It will take time for them to cook all the way through, so keep the heat between medium and medium low throughout cooking.
- Serve. Or, as Ree puts it, "Stack 'em up to your heart's content, top with a big pat of softened butter, drizzle on the warm syrup, and enjoy!" Ree also provides an easy variation on this recipe... but for that, you'll have to buy the book. 😉