By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: February 29, 2020 | 8:45 a.m.
Recently I happened on a video about a a two-ingredient recipe for a Blueberry Breakfast Ring that just sounded too good to be true. Well, I always keep an eye out for easy, make-ahead breakfast or brunch dishes. Because, let’s face it, a traditional breakfast requires enough fast-action puttering in the kitchen that if you have overnight guests, by the time you finish preparing, serving, and cleaning up after breakfast you hardly get to see them until lunch.
This recipe sounded like the perfect answer to that dilemma, because it only requires two ingredients – blueberries and pancake mix! Plus it’s made in a bundt pan, so it would be attractive to serve as well.
Well, I had fresh blueberries in the fridge, and – true confession – I had some pancake mix in the pantry. I know, I know – pancake mix? When they’re so easy to make from scratch? Well, a friend had suggested that I try this upscale brand, swore you couldn’t tell them from scratch-made, so I invested in a box a couple of weeks ago. And she was wrong. You could tell them from scratch pancakes. These were better!
When it’s done it won’t be very brown, but you’ll flip it over and dust with powdered sugar…
So anyway, now I had the two ingredients – ok, and water, if we’re being picky – so I decided I was ready to experiment!
I had never made a cake with pancake mix before, so I googled that and there were a surprising number of variations. One even called for putting oatmeal in the batter, but the thought of that just wasn’t doing it for me. One called for adding vanilla, one suggested putting some sugar in the mix, and a third said you had to use milk instead of water. Welll, being a rebel, I had to make it – my way! And in this case, that meant testing to see how it would be stripped down to bare essentials.
Well, first of all, I didn’t have company, and I knew that no matter how good they might turn out to be, I didn’t need to eat a whole bundt pan full of anything. So I pulled out a small one, sprayed it with cooking spray, and set it aside.
I had no idea how much of anything to use for my small pan, but one recipe called for a cup for a standard size bundt pan. I measured out ½ cup of berries and that just looked pitiful. So, as a big believer in “If a little’s good a lot will be great” I just went ahead and put a whole cup of fresh blueberries in that prepared pan.
Next I had the internal debate about how many cups of pancake mix would cook through in the pan before the outside got dry, if the pan wasn’t nearly full, would the whole thing fall apart when I tried to remove it from the pan – things like that. I finally decided to make up two cups of the mix with the amount of water called for on the box. I figured it might not be great, but since this was an experimental batch, if I began with the basics I could adjust it next time.
One guy who had made these before said of his experiment that it was a little flat, so he thought next time he’d beat the batter with his mixer and the wire whip attachment to “get more air in it.” Bless his heart. I hope he didn’t really do that. Because overmixing pancake mix develops the gluten, producing tough, rubbery pancakes. Anyway, I bravely followed directions on the box and I’ll admit that I was pretty apprehensive as I prepared to pour that lumpy pancake batter over the berries, but you know what? It turned out – well, it was perfect! Almost.
The cake part was super-moist, had plenty of air in it after baking, and tasted delicious! All those blueberries? Well… my “small bundt pan” had a whole bunch of little scallops instead of the big, flowy ones in a regular bundt pan, and those berries hunkered down in those little grooves and when I dumped my ring out about a quarter of the berries stayed in the pan. But the good news is that after I dusted the top with powdered sugar my ring was centerpiece-worthy, and it tasted soooooo good!
I had to go the limit on this recipe, considering how easy it was to make, so I sliced a piece still warm, poured on some maple syrup, and dug in. It tasted like blueberry pancakes with syrup, only without the buttery outside.
Then I tried it with some half-melty vanilla ice cream. It was fabulous! I know it sounds crazy, but I could easily see this as a not-too-sweet dessert for any informal gathering.
And later, I discovered that it was delicious at room temperature for a snack and – in the interest of science, of course – I stuck a piece in the microwave for a few seconds and it tasted like it had just come out of the pan.
So next time – and there will be a next time – I’ll TRY to use fewer berries. Actually, I’ll probably use the regular bundt pan without the little grooves for the berries to get stuck in and just increase the amount of pancake batter.
A small bundt pan with lots of close-together rings and too many berries yielded some berries stuck to the bottom. But it was still mighty tasty!
My only caution would be don’t expect the top to get very brown in the oven. But you’ll be flipping it over anyway, and the bottom was a nice, golden brown. And I don’t see why you couldn’t do the same thing with other berries, small apple cubes, chocolate chips, nuts…
I can’t guarantee how good these would be with a cheap pancake mix. And I can’t say what brand I bought. (though if you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll be glad to tell you.) But I promise this was delicious, and I’m sure you could do the same with your own favorite from-scratch pancake batter as well. And now that I know you can make it taste just-out-of-the-oven with moments in the microwave, you’d better believe the next time I have overnight guests I’ll have this all made up and ready to heat and serve so I can have fun with them, too! Enjoy!
Queenie’s Blueberry Breakfast Ring
¾ Cup fresh blueberries (for a standard size bundt pan, use 1 Cup)
2 Cups good pancake mix (for the larger pan, use 3 Cups)
Water – the amount called for on the package
Powdered Sugar – for dusting the top when it’s done
Spray bundt pan with baking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pancake mix and water called for on box and stir briskly just until all everything is moist. There will be small lumps. Ignore them.
Sprinkle the washed and dried berries evenly in the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over the berries.
Bake 20 minutes for small bundt pan, 30 minutes if using large one. Don’t wait for it to brown. When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with syrup or ice-cream, depending on whether it’s to be part of breakfast/brunch or a dessert.
Copyright 2020 by Womack Publishing
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