April 20, 2012

Overnight Pancakes with Lilac Infused Blueberry Syrup

Aside from the little purple flowers (and by that I mean weeds) that grow in the Midwest grass in the spring that my sister forced me to eat as a kid I have officially never eaten a flower. I see those beautiful little packages of edible flowers at the market and smirk to myself thinking....does anyone actually eat those? Or are they just a stylish way to impress??!!

Well, the lilacs are in full bloom on my property right now. They smell amazing and are, of course, gorgeous. I have pink and purple varieties with huge clusters of flowers. Since lilacs are edible (and I have never tried them) I decided to make a homemade blueberry syrup infused with the lilac blossoms to go with my overnight pancakes. Why not use what's already growing!

Let's go ahead and see if all the 'crazies' out there eating flowers are right!!!!

This syrup was inspired by the fact that I don't really like maple syrup on my pancakes. I might be the only person in the country but I just don't love it, what can I say? Anyway, I like anything fruited on them so I can actually taste the pancake itself instead of a mouthful of syrup. Seriously, have you ever just eaten a pancake plain? They are fantastic!

I call these 'overnight' pancakes because something magical happens when you soak the oats in milk and let them sit overnight before cooking the cakes. Once cooked the pancakes have a nice texture you just can't get from traditional pancakes. The grittiness of the whole wheat flour is also a nice compliment to the oats.

Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes
2 c. oats
2 c. milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 T. olive oil
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
4 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt

Preheat griddle (or my favorite - The Cuisinart Griddler) to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine oats and milk. Put in refrigerator the night before you plan to make pancakes.

In a small mixing bowl combine eggs, vanilla, and olive oil. Add soaked oats and stir well to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add in wet ingredients and stir until mixture just comes together. Do not over mix.

Pour batter onto preheated griddle and cook on first side until bubbles start to form. Flip over and continue cooking until pancake is golden brown. Continue with remaining batter.

Keep pancakes warm by putting them in a baking dish covered with a clean dishcloth.

While pancakes are cooking start on the lilac infused syrup.

Lilac Infused Blueberry Syrup
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 T. agave nectar
6-8 lilac blooms, washed and patted dry

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat cook blueberries, agave nectar and lilac blooms until liquid starts to thicken. Approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove lilac blooms and mash the blueberries with a potato masher. Strain with a fine sieve pushing down berries with a spoon to get all the juices out.

Pour sauce over pancakes topped with applesauce (or without). If you love maple syrup, can't live without it, and can't stray from the norm, drizzle a little on top of the lilac blueberry sauce. I won't tell anyone!

Sooooo, what's the verdict on the flower infused syrup on pancakes? It is actually nice. Maybe not my favorite thing in the world but there is a sophisticated tone - hinting on bitter tea, and a nice aroma that fills your nose while tasting a bitter blueberry.

It's probably a 'love it' or 'hate it' sort of thing. I am somewhere in the middle - if that's possible! :)

**I don't recommend eating the flowers with the pancakes. They are just a nice garnish! :)

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