Blackberry and Sage Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Butter and Caramel Sauce

Blackberry and Sage Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Butter and Caramel Sauce
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About This Recipe

One sunny morning in Napa Valley, as I strolled through the local farmers market, the sight of plump, juicy blackberries and fragrant sage caught my eye. I knew I had to create a dish that combined these delightful flavors, and that's how my Blackberry and Sage Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Butter and Caramel Sauce recipe was born. As a Napa Valley local, I'm always inspired by the abundance of fresh, high-quality ingredients that our beautiful region has to offer. This recipe is perfect for those looking to add a touch of wine country sophistication to their home-cooked breakfast.

When it comes to side dishes, keep things light and fresh with a simple mixed green salad, a citrusy fruit salad, or some crispy bacon for a touch of savory goodness. If you're in the mood for a little indulgence, you can also serve these pancakes alongside a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey-sweetened yogurt.

You can source the ingredients for this recipe from local farmers markets or specialty grocery stores in the area. In Napa Valley, the St. Helena Farmers Market and Oxbow Public Market offer a great selection of fresh produce and high-quality artisan products. And don't forget to pick up a fresh vanilla bean from a local spice shop like Whole Spice in Oxbow Public Market to elevate your butter to new heights.

While it might seem unusual to pair wine with pancakes, our region's diverse range of varietals offers some exciting possibilities. Try a sparkling rosé or a crisp, slightly off-dry Riesling to complement the fruity, herbal notes of the dish. Some local wineries to consider include Schramsberg Vineyards for their exceptional sparkling wines, Trefethen Family Vineyards for a balanced Riesling, or St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery for their elegant rosé.

This recipe truly showcases the flavors of Napa Valley and California wine country. The fresh blackberries and sage evoke the region's lush landscapes, while the luxurious vanilla bean butter and caramel sauce pay homage to the indulgence and sophistication of our renowned wineries. This is the perfect dish for anyone looking to bring a taste of Napa Valley into their home kitchen.

As you cook, take a moment to savor the enticing aroma of sage and blackberries, and imagine yourself strolling through the sun-drenched vineyards of Napa Valley. I hope this dish brings you as much joy as it does to me and that it inspires you to explore even more of our region's culinary offerings. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

"Hero" Ingredient Spotlight: Blackberries

Blackberries, a deep-hued and juicy fruit, often steal the culinary spotlight. Native to multiple continents, these berries are not just flavorful but come packed with health benefits:

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Blackberries contain vitamins A, C, and K, which fight free radicals and promote healthy skin.
  • Fiber-Packed: A great source of dietary fiber, they aid in digestion and heart health.
  • Enhanced Memory: They've been linked to improved brain health, including better memory and cognition.

By incorporating fresh blackberries into this pancake recipe, we ensure a delightful blend of sweetness and tartness that harmoniously marries the aromatic presence of sage.

How to Perfectly Flip Your Pancakes

Achieving the perfect pancake flip can be a daunting task for many, but with a few simple tricks, it can be mastered with ease:

  1. Wait for Bubbles: Ensure bubbles have formed on the surface of your pancake. This indicates that the underside has cooked enough to withstand the flipping process.
  2. Use a Wide Spatula: A wide spatula provides ample support for your pancake, reducing the chances of it breaking apart.
  3. Confidence is Key: Approach the flip with a swift and confident motion. Hesitation can result in a half-flipped or broken pancake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh? Yes, frozen blackberries can be used. Thaw and drain them before adding to the batter to prevent extra moisture.
  2. Is there an alternative to sage if I don't have any on hand? Fresh basil or mint can be used as a substitute, though the flavor profile will change slightly.
  3. How do I store leftover pancakes? Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a toaster or oven for best results.
  4. I have a dairy allergy. Can I make this dairy-free? Absolutely! Substitute milk with almond or oat milk and use a dairy-free butter alternative.
  5. Which skillet works best for these pancakes? A non-stick skillet or cast iron pan is ideal. If using cast iron, ensure it's well-seasoned to prevent sticking.

Tips for Success

  1. Gently Fold in Ingredients: When adding the blackberries and sage to your batter, fold gently. This ensures the pancakes remain light and fluffy and the blackberries don't get crushed.
  2. Consistent Heat: Keep your skillet on medium heat. Too high can cause the pancakes to brown too quickly without cooking through, and too low will not give them the desired golden finish.
  3. Vanilla Bean Scraping: When scraping the vanilla bean for the butter, ensure you're using the back of your knife to extract as many flavorful seeds as possible. This will enhance the rich vanilla flavor in your butter.

Recipe Overview

Blackberry and Sage Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Butter and Caramel Sauce
Lily Anderson
6 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List

Ingredients:For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, finely chopped

For the vanilla bean butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the blackberries and sage.
  2. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Keep pancakes warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
  3. For the vanilla bean butter, mix together the softened butter and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. For the caramel sauce, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and turns a golden amber color, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Let cool slightly before serving.
  5. Serve the pancakes with a dollop of vanilla bean butter and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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