Saturday, January 22, 2011
Lemon Yogurt Pancakes
Every year over the holidays my mom and I watch The Sound of Music and, subsequently, get the songs stuck in our heads for weeks. I always enjoyed the scene where Maria calmed the children by singing about her favorite things, but I have to admit, my lyrics would be a heck of a lot different than whiskers on kittens and cream colored ponies:
“Thin New York pizza and dry apple cider
Custard-filled cream puffs and wine by the fire…”
Ok, Tristan said I have to stop before everyone knows that I'm a dork. But if I were allowed to continue, I would certainly work savory pancakes in there. Zucchini, sweet corn, green pea, you name it. But the love ends at the standard buttermilk flapjack. I like the idea of ordering a piping hot stack but they're just too starchy and inevitably leave me feeling 10 pounds heavier.
That said, I recently had an inexplicable hankering for sweet pancakes, and my cravings don't go away until they're satisfied. To avoid the infamous flour-induced coma, I decided to make a version using yogurt, lemon zest and whipped egg whites. The result? Seriously fluffy, light-as-a-feather, uncommonly good pancakes.
The key here is separating the egg yolks from the whites. You could easily skip this step (simply mix whole eggs into the yogurt) but you'd be missing out on some incredible texture. Folding in whipped egg whites produces a batter that's impossibly airy and delicate.
Requiring only 7 tablespoons of flour per batch, these lemony little cakes will simultaneously satisfy your pancake craving and perpetuate it.
Lemon Yogurt Pancakes
A lighter version of the American breakfast classic, these are made with yogurt instead of milk and a bit of lemon zest for freshness.
Makes 14 3-inch pancakes
1 cup plain yogurt (I use organic whole milk yogurt)
2 large eggs, divided
Zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined (do not over-mix).
Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, being careful to retain as much air as possible.
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat (err on the side of lower heat to avoid burnt outsides and raw middles). Add enough melted butter to lightly coat the bottom of the pan - you can do this by brushing, swirling or, as I do, running the end of a stick of butter over the pan's surface. Pour in the batter in scant 1/4-cup-fulls. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip carefully and cook another 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve in a stack with butter, yogurt and real maple syrup.