Despite my gloomy weekend forecast, it turned out to be a pretty fantastic Saturday, all sunny and blue-skied, and filled with very regular Saturday things – an early morning toy sale, a kids’ soccer tournament, backyard gardening, a birthday party, a slumber party… and now the morning after the slumber party, when pancakes are clearly in order.
I personally use sleepovers (and Sundays-I’m not picky) as an excuse to make things like these smashed blackberry pancakes, which I’ve had in mind since becoming hopelessly hooked on Portlandia (totally old news, I realize, but recently available on Netflix in Canada so new to us) – one episode of which is dedicated to the pursuit of a stack of Marionberry pancakes. (Marionberries are just a variety of blackberry native to Oregon.) And so this week when I couldn’t sleep due to too much coffee or too much worry or just those nitpicky voices that sneak up and attack you when your defenses are down, I focused my mind on this episode and in particular, the stack of Marionberry pancakes they were (spoiler alert!) rewarded with at the end. On Friday I gave in, went to the store and dropped $4 on a half pint of blackberries just so I could get them out of my head and into my stomach.
Although on the show -being a series of satirical comedy shorts based in Portland- the pancakes themselves were multigrain and vegan (natch), I figured smashed blackberries (smashed because they appear as a sort of chunky sauce on the show, and that was the visual that lived in my head all week) would go well with lemon-ricotta pancakes, don’t you think? And conveniently I had a tub of ricotta in the fridge left over from an unmade lasagna.
Since Bobby Flay had a guest appearance on this particular episode, helping them spend 241 days developing the perfect pancake formula, I used his lemon-ricotta pancake recipe as a stepping stone, then smashed blackberries with sugar to blop overtop. You can do this in a bowl – crush fresh blackberries with sugar or maple syrup using a fork and bowl, or do it in a small saucepan and warm it as you go, melting the sugar and making a warm, chunky sauce to pour over your (presumably also warm) pancakes.