Blueberry Cornbread Griddle Cakes

Blueberry Cornbread Griddle CakesHappy Valentine’s Day, nerds! (I’ve been re-watching a lot of 30 Rock lately, can you tell?) Here we are in February already; the second month of a full-on dumpster fire of a year so far. I, generally, like Valentine’s Day for the heart-shaped everythings and the extra reminders and opportunities to say ‘I love you,’ while also acknowledging it’s yet another holiday rooted in consumerism. Yawn. We all know the story by now. In the midst of so much horrible, though, I’m fully embracing Valentine’s Day this year as a chance to spread some big, fat, queer love all over the place – and I’m starting with these Blueberry Cornbread Griddle Cakes!

Blueberry Cornbread Griddle CakesHere, we have the best of two breakfasts – blueberry pancakes and corn muffins – rolled into one. What’s your favorite part of a cornbread muffin? The lightly browned and buttery edge, of course! And blueberry pancakes? All of those tart, warm berries bursting in each bite, yes? Lucky you, because this recipe has both, plus the usual melted butter and maple syrup, to boot.

Blueberry Cornbread Griddle CakesCould you make these with your go-to cornbread recipe? Yes, I imagine so, but Valentine’s Day is very often on a weekday and who has time for all that measuring when all you want to do is put a plate of heart-shaped griddle cakes in front of your loves, your besties, or your kiddos? No one, that’s who! I’d rather spend that time cooing over someone I adore – Hey, Bear, that’s YOU! – than getting fussy. For this recipe, I rely on a boxed mix because it does the job very well and allows me a great base to throw in a few extra bells and whistles.

Blueberry Cornbread Griddle CakesQuick, delicious, and they just feel so dang special, Blueberry Cornbread Griddle Cakes are my new favorite breakfast treat for any day that needs a little bit more love. And, let’s be honest, that’s most days lately. Happy Valentine’s & Galentine’s to all my many loves – I wish I could have each of you over for breakfast, kisses, and a plate of griddle cakes. Someone bring the bacon and the mimosas!

XOXO

Blueberry Cornbread Griddle Cakes
Yields 6, 4-inch griddle cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted, plus more for cooking
  • 3/4 cup of blueberries
  • Maple syrup or honey for serving

Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine the contents of the cornbread mix and add the egg, sugar, milk, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Whisk to combine and let rest 10 minutes. When you’re ready to go, heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Use a 1/4 cup scoop to make round cakes or pour the 1/4 cup of batter into a metal cookie cutter that you’ve placed into the pan. I used a 4″ heart-shaped cookie cutter. Do not add more batter than this, simply use a spoon to push the batter to the edges of the shape to fill it. Once the griddle cake has set, add the desired amount of blueberries to each cake. Allow the griddle cake to cook until bubbles begin to form and break on the surface of the cake.

If you’re not using a cookie cutter to create shapes, simply flip the cake with a spatula. Be gentle. The cornbread texture makes these a little prone to crumbling. If you are using a cookie cutter, test that the batter has cooked enough for you to remove the cookie cutter by raising it slightly and observing whether or not batter begins to run out. When you’re sure it is set, carefully remove the cookie cutter (be careful! it’s hot!) and flip. If your cookie cutter is a little more intricate, it may help to slide the griddle cake still in the cookie cutter onto the spatula and then remove the mold before flipping. Cook griddle cakes an additional minute on the opposite site and then remove from the pan. Follow with another tablespoon of butter and the next batch of cakes. You can keep your cooked griddle cakes warm in a low 170 degree oven.

When ready to serve, top your griddle cakes with an additional pat of butter if desired and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

No-Bake Double Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustForgive my few weeks of absence, dear friends! I was off on a whirlwind of travel that brought me home to New Jersey to see family and then up to the North Shore of Minnesota for a cabin getaway. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably caught some of the photos. I’m back now and ready to take on summer with its bounty and its leisure in order to turn out some exciting content for you. Up first is this fantastic recipe from my grandmother, Hilda.

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustIn the depths of summer, no one wants to turn on their oven, but almost everyone wants to still eat pie, right? The solution? No-bake fruit pies! They’re completely easy, homey, and taste just as delicious as their brethren who spend time baking in the oven. While blueberry is my personal favorite – and the one my grandmother makes for our family the most –  you could substitute peaches, strawberries, and combinations of all kinds of summer fruits in this. You may have to adapt the amount of fruit to switch it up, but play around and see; there’s no such thing as being grumpy over extra pie filling!

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustWhile traditionally, I’ve made her no-bake blueberry pie in a standard, flaky pie crust, I noticed her original recipe called for a gingerbread crust, which somehow got lost over the years. Visiting family in New Jersey a few weeks ago, I came across a box of Anna’s Swedish Ginger Thins and thought, “Hey! Gingersnaps would work and would be even better than gingerbread!” And so it was.

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustFor many of us, Anna’s are synonymous with Ikea because they’re sold there in such abundance. They’re thin and sweet with just the right amount of spicy ginger flavor and, you know what? They pair *so* deliciously with blueberries; cinnamon, ginger, and berries are natural friends. Of course, if you can’t find Anna’s, any gingersnap will do, just make sure you’re getting gingersnaps and not gingerbread, as I’m predicting the latter would be too soft and moist for this application. You want your cookies to be full of crunch and snap so that your crust holds up to the lusciousness of the berries and cream.

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustThe filling comes together nice and quickly in this recipe and because you only cook one half of the berries, and then add in the remaining off the stove, the pie has the fantastic combination of textures from both the disintegrated, now jam-like, berries and the bright burst of ones just warmed through. It is so juicy, sweet and delicious and makes for a gorgeous, seasonal dessert.

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust

No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap CrustWhen the pie has cooled, I like to top it with a thick layer of fresh whipped cream, but ice cream, or even vanilla yogurt, will also do just fine. This is a great way to have dessert despite a summer swelter and make something that looks, and tastes, like a true labor of love.
No-Bake Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust
No-Bake Double Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Yields one 9″ pie

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups of gingersnap crumbs, about one 5.25oz box of Anna’s (you can also use 2 boxes of Anna’s and omit the graham entirely)
1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1 stick of butter, melted
3 pints of blueberries, divided in half
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
2 Tablespoons of water
Pinch of salt

Directions
In a food processor, pulse gingersnaps until you have 1-1/2 cups of crumbs, set aside. Repeat with graham crackers until you have 1/2 cup. Melt one stick of butter in the microwave. In a bowl, combine both sets of crumbs and melted butter thoroughly. Pour mixture into a 9″ pie plate and, starting at the bottom, in the middle, begin pressing the crumbs into the pan to form the base and sides of the pie. Be sure to press crust into the bend between the base and the sides of the pan and then press the crumb up the sides. Place crust in refrigerator to firm up.

In a mixing bowl, add 1-1/2 pints of blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt, and combine. Add fruit mixture to a 3-quart pot and heat mixture, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Once boiling, allow to do so for 2 minutes, stirring constantly now until it thickens some and many of the berries pop and split open. Remove from heat and immediately add in the remaining 1-1/2 pints of blueberries and stir together gently.

Remove pie crust from fridge and gently spoon in fruit mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until completely cold and firm. Top with fresh whipped cream if desired.

Berry Scones with Orange Cardamom Glaze

I, easily, fall victim to the bounty of fruits and vegetables that flood the supermarket this time of year; sometimes, to the point of detriment. In that I’ll be so overwhelmed with all of the delicious, fresh offerings that I’ll buy a few too many tomatoes or an extra pound of peaches and then scramble for ways to use them as I notice them starting to go soft a week or two later. I always find something to do with them, but sometimes it makes for some mismatched meals.

Luckily, I always know what to do when I have berries on their way South, which is exactly the situation I found myself in this week after I had stocked up on some good strawberry and blueberry sales a week or so prior. I’d already eaten many of them on their own, dotted on top of cereal, blended into smoothies (some of which were actually milkshakes that I called “smoothies,” shhh!), and even in a balsamic vinaigrette I’d made poured over grilled chicken atop salad. Delicious! When I happened on their overripe siblings yesterday while searching for a snack, I knew I wanted to use them in a sweeter application, but also something that could handle and disguise the fact that they were past their prime.

Muffins? Sure, muffins are delicious, but why make muffins when you can have their sophisticated cousin, scones? Have you properly met? Scones are simple to execute, but sound and look special, maybe even snooty! Undoubtedly this is because of their being good, proper teatime fare. Scones, though, prove themselves worthy of the fuss. They have a much dryer crumb than the muffin, but in their airiness, they are also deliciously buttery and light all at once. With blueberries and strawberries folded in, they make for a slightly sweet breakfast treat on their own or accompanied with butter and jam for spreading. Better yet, spoon on some clotted cream and lose sense of everything else happening around you. True story: Bear thought I should make clotted cream to accompany this post. Like it was NBD. Like I should just get to it after I churn some fresh butter or something.

Anyway, these scones are delightful in their simplicity as is, but bumped up with the addition of a quick glaze of orange and cardamom that adds a different kind of sweetness and a bit of spice. When it hits the hot scones, the glaze gives off a wonderful scent of citrus with warm notes similar to ginger and cinnamon. The glaze is the perfect compliment to the roasted berry flavor and, because they’re a sturdier crumb, the scones hold up to the glaze well. This is a pairing of flavors I think I’ll come back to again and again.

Mixed Berry Scones with Orange & Cardamom Glaze
Yields 8 scones

Ingredients:
For the scones
2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of cold butter
3/4 cup of sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh berries of your choice

For the glaze
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons of orange zest
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon of butter
1 small pinch of cardamom (a little goes a long way!)

Directions:
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and then mix it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or a fork. When finished, the mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour and butter mixture gently until just incorporated; if a bit of dry crumb remains on the bottom, that’s fine, you just don’t want to over-mix.

Dump the ingredients onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into a rough rectangle. Sprinkle the berries (I used blueberries and strawberries; with the latter, you’ll want to dry them a bit with a paper towel after dicing and before integrating them into the dough) in an even layer onto the dough and then fold it over onto itself. Repeat this process once more or until all berries are incorporated throughout the dough. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the dough is refrigerating, make the glaze by combining the above ingredients and set aside. When you are ready to roll out the scones, preheat the oven to 400°F and transfer the disk of dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the disk into 8 wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and assemble the wedges on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Leave a few inches of space between wedges, as they will grow in size as they bake. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. After 5 minutes, transfer to a baking rack to cool.

If planning to serve that day, drizzle glaze over warm scones and enjoy. If not, store the cooled stones in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, warm them and apply glaze before eating.