Heartbeet Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

There is just one pancake recipe in this house. It’s my mother’s recipe for oatmeal buttermilk pancakes. For Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to turn them bright pink so I made one quick addition to the recipe and voila! Though I could have used red food dye, I decided to go with something more natural. It turns out that the most brilliant ruby red nature has to offer is found in beets, which happen to be very good for…wait for it…the heart! Of course.

  • For the pancakes:
  • 1 medium beet, green tops removed and reserved for another use
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not the quick-cooking kind)
  • 2-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for the skillet
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chocolate chips, optional
  • Fresh raspberries, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
  • For the raspberry sauce:
  • 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beet, then wrap it tightly in foil. Place beet on center rack of the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, unwrap carefully (watch that steam!) and cut into chunks. Puree in a food processor, using a little warm water if necessary. You should get about 3/4 cup of beet puree. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, place the oats in a food processor fitted with the steel chopping blade. Process for about one minute, or until the oats are finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the ground oats with the buttermilk and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla then blend. Add the beet puree and stir until incorporated.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring just until combined. The batter should be a lovely shade of bright pink.
  • To make the raspberry sauce, place the frozen raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened and jammy.
  • Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
  • To make the pancakes, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place about 1/4 cup of batter on the hot skillet, then turn the heat down to medium low. If using a mold, see tips. If using chocolate chips, press them into the batter using your finger to press them down and cover them with batter from the surface of the pancake. When the edges of the pancake look firm, flip. The pancakes should puff up slightly. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
  • To serve, place a few tablespoons of the raspberry sauce on a plate. Set the pancakes on top. Serve with fresh raspberries, if using, and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Tips
  • 1. When I make these pancakes (without the beets), I don’t grind up the oats. You can still get a lovely result with whole oats. I ground them up here for a finer texture. I also thought the batter would be easier to work with using silicone molds. See #2.
  • 2. I found these adorable silicone heart shaped molds. They weren’t initially easy to work with, but I discovered a few quick tricks that made them infinitely easier to manage. First, use your finger to coat the inside of the mold with a little canola oil. It’s also helpful to run a little oil along the lipped edge that sits on the surface of the skillet. Second, fill the mold with just enough batter to fill in the shape but no more than that. In my first attempt, I went for very tall, fat hearts and it was a disaster. Finally, after each use, rinse and dry the mold (and re-grease) so you are starting fresh each time. It’s more work, but if there is remaining batter on the mold it will not pull up as easily for the next round. You don’t want lopsided hearts, do you?!

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

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