Quick Tip—boxed batter mix can be used to shorten prep time.
Cinnamon filling—Stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place the filling into a quart-size zippered storage baggie. Allow to thicken at room temperature while completing the next step in the process. Filling texture will be similar to squeezing toothpaste out of a tube when ready for use.
Glaze—Melt the butter over low heat. Add cream cheese and whip until smooth. Remove the pan from heat. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then set aside.
Pancake batter—whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened (small lumps are okay).
Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat to a medium temperature. Utilize an ice cream scoop or 1⁄3 cup measuring cup to add batter to the skillet. Use the bottom of the utensil to spread the batter into an even circle (about 5 inches in diameter). Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Inside the baggie, stir the cinnamon filling before using. Then snip the corner of the baggie. Pipe cinnamon filling on each pancake, beginning from the center and swirling outward.
Cook about 3-4 minutes, until bubbles begin to appear and the pancake is golden brown on the bottom. With a thin spatula, gently and quickly flip the pancake. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
Transfer pancake onto a plate. Re-spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and cook the remaining batter into pancakes.
Drizzle cream cheese glaze over the stack of pancakes and serve. Enjoy.
Okay—for the purists among you, this recipe may not be for you. But if you don’t enjoy pitting fresh cherries and you need something yummy and quick because—well, you have a life—this is the cherry cobbler recipe for you.
This would work equally well for blackberry pie. I cannot go to the mountains of North Carolina without purchasing blackberry jam—my all-time favorite.
The key to any great pie is the crust. So I’m sharing my mother-in-law’s Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe. Yes, I realize I’m the let’s-do-things-as-easy-as-possible chef. But this pie crust is worth the trouble. You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Foolproof Pie Crust—Ingredients:
•4 cups all-purpose flour
•1 3/4 cups vegetable shortening
•1 Tbsp sugar
•2 tsp salt
•1 Tbsp vinegar
•1/2 cup water
1. With a fork, mix first 4 ingredients. In a separate dish, beat remaining ingredients. Combine the 2 mixtures, stirring with a fork till all ingredients are moistened.
2. Mold dough into a ball. Chill at least 15 minutes before rolling into desired shape. Dough can be left in the refrigerator up to 3 days or frozen until ready to use. Divide into 4 dough balls.
3. Roll out one ball for crust of blueberry pie.
6 cups of fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour to thicken
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk
1. Roll out one dough ball to 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Position the dough over a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.
2. Stir the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour into the bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out another dough ball to the same size and thickness as the first. Drape on top of the berry filling. Fold the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom crust. Crimp the edges. Chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.
3. Whisk egg and milk together for egg wash.
4. Brush the top crust with egg wash. Score the top pie crust with 4 cuts of knife (so steam can escape while cooking). Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven. I usually set pie in a shallow baking pan to catch any dribbles that may bubble over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.