The Secret To Truly Fluffy Pancakes Is So Easy

When I wanted a "souffléed" pancake, I turned to Michael Ruhlman for the basics, with assistance from The Joy of Cooking. Subbing almond flour for half the usual volume of flour and cake flour for the rest creates a tender yet crisp-crusted result — and it perfectly rounds out the flavor with a slight hint of nuttiness that, till now, you didn't know you missed. I added an extra egg, separated the whites and yolks, and fluffed the former with salt for extra volume and tenderness. You could add grated orange peel if you lean that way, or keep it simple, which allows the beautiful almond toastiness to shine through.

Related: Ricotta Hotcakes With Maple Butter

Makes about 14 medium pancakes

3 large eggs
4 oz almond flour (commercially ground — you want to avoid grittiness)
4 oz cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp organic sugar
Grated peel of 1 orange (optional)
1 cup milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or the same amount of safflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Safflower oil or butter for frying (the safflower oil seems to give a crispier crust, while the butter gives flavor), or you could use a little of both
About 3/4 cups pure maple syrup, warmed, as an accompaniment
About 1/3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen), as an accompaniment
Butter, if desired, as an accompaniment

Related: Almond Coffee Cake

1. Separate the eggs. If you have time, warm the yolks and whites by half-submerging each bowl in warm water.

2. Mix the flours and baking powder. Sift into a bowl to break up lumps. Some almond flour may remain in the sifter; break up the lumps with your fingers, then add to the bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Add in the grated peel, if desired.

3. If you have the time, use an electric mixer to beat the yolks for 3 minutes or until pale and aerated. The pancakes will still be delicious if you decide to skip this step.
4. Whisk together the yolks, milk, and butter. Add the vanilla.

5. Make a well in the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients (except the whites). Whisk to combine.

6. Add the salt to the whites. In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the whites with the salt until barely-stiff peaks form. They should be moist, not dry.
7. Empty the whites into the bowl with the batter and fold in lightly with a wide rubber scraper until thoroughly combined.

8. Heat a frying pan over low to medium heat and add safflower oil or butter (or a mixture of both). Coat the bottom lightly (drain out excess if using oil). Test by sprinkling a few drops of cold water onto the pan; when the water sizzles on the surface, the pan is hot enough.

9. With the tip of a large spoon, drop batter onto surface of oil to form cakes (do not crowd pan). Fry on first side, monitoring the heat level to avoid burning, until tops start to appear dry and bubbles start to burst, leaving air tunnels. Flip to cook the second side briefly. (You can keep them warm for serving by emptying them onto a Pyrex pie plate, covering with foil, and keeping in a 150 to 200 degree oven until ready to serve.)

10. Warm the maple syrup and blueberries (frozen are okay) together in a heavy saucepan, then pour into a serving pitcher.

11. Serve the pancakes hot, accompanied by butter and warm maple or maple-blueberry syrup.

Next: Perfect Blueberry Streusel Muffins

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