Posts Tagged ‘America’s Test Kitchen Pancakes’

DSC_0003Pancakes with Blueberry Compote 2

Batten down yer hatches folks! There’s a storm brewing off the west of Ireland. Yesterday Met Éireann (Ireland’s national meteorological service) announced possible tidal flooding, dropping temperatures, and wind gusts of up to 130km per hour for much of the country overnight and into today, particularly the Atlantic coastal areas.

With any luck, however, this period of unsettled weather {don’t you just love Irish weather reporting} will pass by Sunday. Why? I’m glad you asked. This Sunday, 5th January, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council are hosting the Third Annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship. Yes, tis true!

So don’t bother to recycle that tree of yours. Instead, strap it tightly to the top of your car and head on over for some good old-fashioned lumberjack fun. Who knows, the winner of this year’s event may even beat the 2013 winner, farmer John O’Dea from Limerick, who launched his tree a whopping 10.2 metres. For the record, the World Tree Throwing Record is currently held by one Klaus Pubnaz, who hurled a tree 12 metres at an event in Germany three years ago.

All proceeds raised on Sunday will go to the Clare Branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Association. Mayor of Ennis, Cllr. Mary Coote Ryan, and Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Joe Arkins, acknowledged this a “novel approach” adopted by the Councils to encourage members of the public to recycle their Christmas trees while at the same time raising funds for a local charity.

Competitors from the four corners of Ireland and further afield are invited to take part. The event is open to men, women and children, and each contestant will get three attempts at throwing their used Christmas tree.” FYI…the tree you throw will only be 1.5 metres tall.

And what, I hear you ask, will the winner get for his or her herculean efforts? This year’s prize is a 2-night bed & breakfast stay at The Armada in Spanish Point, along with a trophy.

Of course, the reason for participating has little, if anything, to do with winning: it’s just one heck of a fun way to get rid of your tree and do something good for a worthy cause. The Council will be providing a free Christmas tree recycling service at various locations throughout County Clare, but they will take a tree from anyone who wishes to drop one at the contest, so long as you make a donation to the Clare Branch of Cystic Fibrosis. At a later date, the Council will arrange for the trees to be mulched for use by its gardening section.

The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship will take place between 1.00pm and 4.00pm, at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park, Ennis, Co. Clare. The mid-day start gives you plenty of time to wolf-down a lumberjack-style breakfast {you know, tossing pine trees is hard work!). I suggest you start with a stack of delicious pancakes, topped with maple syrup, fresh whipped cream, and blueberry compote. As, it just so happens, I have a recipe for such below. Enjoy!

Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Serves 4-6

Pancake Ingredients

1 tablespoon lemon juice

cups/500ml milk

cups/10oz plain flour (self-raising/all purpose flour)

tablespoons caster sugar

teaspoons baking powder

teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)

teaspoon salt

large egg

tablespoons/1 1/2oz butter, melted and cooled slightly

teaspoons vegetable oil


1. Whisk lemon juice and milk in a large measuring cup; set aside to thicken while preparing other ingredients.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to combine.

3. Whisk egg and melted butter into milk until combined.

4. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (a few lumps should remain). Do not over mix.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes; add 1teaspoon oil and brush to coat pan-bottom evenly.

6. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto 3 spots on the pan. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, 1-2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side.

7. Serve immediately with maple syrup, freshly whipped cream, and blueberry compote.

Blueberry Compote Ingredients

2 cups/10oz blueberries, frozen or fresh

3 tablespoons water

1/4 cup/2oz sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice


1. Combine 1 cup/5oz blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.

2. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the remaining blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.

3. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.


Photo credit above goes to Sean Curtin for the photograph of the Mayors of Ennis and Clare throwing a Christmas tree.

When following the blueberry compote recipe, don’t boil the heck out of the blueberry, water, lemon juice mixture as I did the first time I made this recipe. It will become a thick jam, if you do.

The pancake recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen and the Blueberry Compote recipe comes from Ellie Krieger at the Food Network.

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