Test Kitchen: Blueberry pecan pancake bread pudding

My preferred brunch food usually falls in the pancakes/waffles/French toast category, so when I stumbled on a recipe for blueberry pecan pancake bread pudding, I had to try it.
The concept is similar to French toast and cinnamon roll casseroles I’ve made before. You prepare your bread element and then soak it in a custard mixture for several hours before baking the whole thing.

My preferred brunch food usually falls in the pancakes/waffles/French toast category, so when I stumbled on a recipe for blueberry pecan pancake bread pudding, I had to try it.

The concept is similar to French toast and cinnamon roll casseroles I’ve made before. You prepare your bread element and then soak it in a custard mixture for several hours before baking the whole thing.

The only thing that might keep me from taking this pancake bread pudding to my next brunch adventure is that it’s somewhat time-intensive. The good news is that while this recipe has several steps, they’re all easy.

It starts with the pancakes. Confession: I never had made pancakes before and that’s because I have been afraid that if I made them, I would ruin them. This recipe seemed like a good way to conquer my fear because it doesn’t matter whether the pancakes are all-the-way done or perfect-looking because they get split in half and then bake in the oven. These pancakes are smallish, and three minutes on each side cooked them for me.

It took a little finagling to get the pancakes to stand up in the casserole dish, but I learned that tucking the blueberries between them helps add stability. The pancakes weren’t large enough to stretch across the entire dish, so the sides and middle were just custard mix with no pancakes, which turned out fine.

After I had everything assembled, I popped the dish in the fridge for a few hours. Sometimes I ignore this step when I see it in recipes because I tend to lack patience and usually am not overly convinced the waiting is necessary. In this case, it is. The pancake needs to soak up the egg mixture, or else you’re going to have crispy pancake on the top and an unpleasant eggy layer on the bottom. Even with the waiting, mine still turned out crispy on the top and somewhat eggy on the bottom.

During the fridge time, I made the sour cream drizzle. I had some sour cream already open that I used, but I would imagine you could swap in plain Greek yogurt and get the same effect. Next time, I’d use a little less honey in this drizzle, just to bring out even more of the tangy, bright flavor from the sour cream and lemon.

RECIPE:
Ingredients
For the pancakes and casserole:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
Five large eggs
Unsalted butter, for griddle
One 6-oz. package fresh blueberries
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the drizzle:
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. half-and-half
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. lemon zest
Pinch of salt

Directions
For the pancakes and casserole:
1. Combine flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

2. Whisk together milk, sour cream and one egg in a separate bowl.

3. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just blended and smooth.

4. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat; butter.

5. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto griddle. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until plump and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Slice each pancake in half and arrange, flat side down, in two snug rows in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

7. Scatter half of blueberries over pancakes, tucking a few between pancakes.

8. Whisk together half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, remaining 4 eggs and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl.

9. Pour egg mixture over pancakes. Chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

11. Bake until puffed and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

12. Sprinkle with remaining blueberries and drizzle with honey sour cream. Serve warm.

For the drizzle:
Whisk together sour cream, half-and-half, honey, lemon zest and a pinch of salt until smooth.

SOURCE Country Living

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass