Lovely Ginger

The food: Blueberry-Nectarine Pancakes with Gingered Maple Syrup

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The story:

New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay had a wonderful appreciation piece in this past Sunday’s paper about the dance partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

I’m a big fan of Fred Astaire, and was almost obsessively so in my youth, judging from the box of 20 or so framed 8 x 10 glossy black and white photos of Fred that I still have in the basement, along with books about Fred, and an original movie poster from The Bandwagon that I couldn’t bear to part with during my last big move:

Yes, I own this.

Yes, I own this.

Such was/is my fandom that I am intimately acquainted with every dance number Macaulay refers to in his article, including the “Waltz in Swing Time” from the movie Swing Time, about which he (rightly) rhapsodizes.

I’ve seen that number at least a dozen times, adore the dress Ginger wears, and know every note of the music, but after reading Macaulay’s piece, I watched it again on Youtube:

Then, in homage to the lithe and lovely Ginger, I made some nectarine-blueberry pancakes with gingered maple syrup. The recipe is a mashup/adaptation of a recipe for peach pancakes with ginger from oprah.com, and one for blueberry buttermilk flapjacks from MarthaStewart.com. The spiciness of the ginger in the batter and syrup complements the sweetness of the nectarine slices browned in butter almost as wondrously as Ginger and Fred dance together.

Nectarine-blueberry pancakes just prior to being flipped.

Nectarine-blueberry pancakes just prior to being flipped.

Blueberry Nectarine Pancakes with Gingered Maple Syrup

1 3/4 c. flour
3 1/2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter, melted plus more butter for cooking pancakes
2 T. vegetable oil plus more for skillet
1 c. blueberries
5 small nectarines, peeled and chopped
1 c. maple syrup
1 T. minced fresh ginger

1. Combine maple syrup and minced fresh ginger in small saucepan. Bring to boil, remove from heat and let sit in pan for 15 minutes. Pour into pitcher for serving.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. Whisk together liquid ingredients in separate bowl, then whisk into dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries.
4. Heat 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in batter, 1/4 c. at a time (my skillet fit 3 pancakes.) Cook until small bubbles form (about 3-4 minutes), then place 3-4 nectarine slices on top of each pancake, and flip. Cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove and keep warm.
5. Serve with gingered syrup and additional butter if desired.

Makes 10 – 12.

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