Tag: buttermilk pancakes

Lemon ricotta pancakes compared to Grandma’s

Lemon ricotta pancakes compared to Grandma’s

Several weeks ago, Genevieve Ko published a fascinating recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes in the Sunday New York Times. She used superlatives like “most tender,” “fluffy,” “light” and “comforting,” and we just had to try them.

The pancakes are light because the recipe has 3 eggs, buttermilk, ricotta and only ¾ cup of flour. And the unique part of her version is that the batter also has some grated lemon zest. To counter that, she recommends serving them with a blueberry sauce.  Here is her recipe:

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp melted butter
Lemon zest in sugar
Bubbles forming on lemon pancakes
  1. Heat a griddle to “medium low.” We chose 350˚ F.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Put the sugar in a large bowl and grate the lemon zest into it, Work in with your fingers.
  4. Mix in the vanilla
  5. Add the eggs and whisk until foamy on top.
  6. Add the flour, ricotta and buttermilk and whisk until uniform.
  7. Butter the griddle generously and drop ¼ cup portions onto it. Cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles begin to from. Turn each pancake gently and cook about 2 more minutes.
  8. Serve with butter and blueberry sauce.

Blueberry sauce

  • ! pint blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, mix and heat to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until thickened.

Stack cut open

There is no doubt that these are light, delicious pancakes. Ko says the recipe makes 12-14 pancakes, but since they are so small and not all that filling, this recipe serves just a bit more than two people. We each ate two stacks of 3 pancakes without any trouble. You could have to double it to serve four. And, of course, you could omit the lemon zest if you wanted to serve them with maple syrup.

Grandma’s recipe

This is our old family recipe that was handed down from my mother’s mother, Edna Neely, who probably learned the recipe in the latter part of the 19th century. The copy I got came from her daughter, my aunt Elsie, many years ago. It is a simple recipe that you can remember as 2-2-2-1-1-1/2:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Buttermilk

Over time, I’ve reduced the baking soda to about ¾ tsp so that the buttermilk flavor comes through more strongly.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Break the eggs into the mixture and add buttermilk to make a “thickish batter.”
  3. Cook on a griddle at 375˚ F until bubble form and then turn them and cook another two minutes.
Buttermilk pancakes rising
Stack of buttermilk pancakes

How they differ

We usually make bigger pancakes, using maybe 1/3 of a cup of batter each, but you certainly can make them smaller like the ones in Ko’s recipe. They are nearly as light as Ko’s and much less work. It is also easy to make, say a 1-1/2 recipe to serve more people, but the basic recipe will serve 3-4.

I’ll probably make Ko’s recipe from time to time because they are really good with blueberry sauce, but it is so much more work than Grandma’s recipe and if you put a stack of 3 ¼-cup sized pancakes from each recipe side by side, the difference is relatively small.

We tried cooking this recipe at the lower temperature as Ko recommends, and this works fine too. They just take slightly longer to cook. However, we did find that the lower temperature cooked those frozen sausage patties more uniformly without burning them.

Pancake ‘toad-in-the-hole’

Pancake ‘toad-in-the-hole’

Toad in the hole is a classic British dish, made up of sausages embedded in a Yorkshire pudding batter and baked. The name comes from the ends of the sausages peeking out of the baked batter. In the U.S., the name has been used to describe eggs cooked inside bread or toast as well as sausages. That version is sometimes called “egg with a hat” to describe the little circle of bread you cut out for the egg.  In fact, the beavers at Myrecipes.com found that there are 66 different names for this dish.

So, with that in mind, we decided to make one more. Suppose you are making pancakes, as we often do on Sundays. Why not add an egg into those pancakes and make a Pancake Toad in the Hole?

So to try this, we made buttermilk pancakes using this heirloom family recipe (which is much like everyone else’s.) 

Then we cooked one side of a pancake with a little melted butter on the griddle for flavor, and then turned out over. 

About 1 minute later, we used a biscuit cutter to cut a hole on the pancake. The pancake will still be doughy in the middle, but you can cook that little “hat” while you make the main event.

Break an egg into a cup and pour it into the hole you just cut.

Let the pancake/egg cook until the egg is cloudy, and then flip it. This may take two spatulas (spatulae?) to keep the uncooked egg from weeping out.  Cook the egg for 30 seconds or more and flip the pancake back over. Serve the “Pancake toad” right away with the little hat alongside.

Cut open

This sweet/savory combination could have syrup added, or your could just eat it the way it is, using the pancake to sop up the egg.

Pancake benedict?

One variation we tried was to cook a small slice of ham in a little butter, and then put it in the hole of a pancake, and then add the egg. Again, cook until the egg is cloudy, flip it, cook 30 seconds, flip it back and serve.

Pancake Benedict?

In this case, syrup might be overkill. We suppose you might add hollandaise instead, but that might be ever more overkill.

You could also add a slice of sausage, but make sure it is a thin slice, or there may not be room for the egg. 

A delicious breakfast addition to impress your family and friends!

Fog Island: a breakfast favorite

Fog Island: a breakfast favorite

signRight downtown is one of the best breakfasts you can get: at Fog Island on South Water Street. Popular with both locals and visitors, this reasonably priced restaurant serves breakfast (7 till noon) and lunch (11 to 2) to really delighted customers. They also feature takeout rolls and breakfast sandwiches.

Run by Mark and Anne Dawson since 1993, this fine example simple, but elegant cuisine is a Nantucket landmark.

At this morning’s visit, we went for the French toast and Buttermilk pancakes for a change. The elegant French Toast presentation is featured above. And the pancakes are so capacious you can hardly photograph them! These are plate filling pancakes so large that you don’t need to order the full stack. Really. You don’t. In fact, the sausage was served on a separate plate because there was no room.

We also appreciated the Tazo tea served in an actual teapot. We’re already looking forward to another visit!

Easy buttermilk pancakes

Easy buttermilk pancakes

Making buttermilk pancakes is so easy and so quick that I never saw any reason to use pancake mixes.  The recipe came down from my grandmother, written down by my Aunt Elsie, who pointed out that you can remember it as 2-2-2-1-1-1/2.

Here are all the ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Buttermilk (usually 2-3 cups)
  • 1 Tb butter for the griddle

Note that I reduced the baking soda to ¾ teaspoon, to bring out the buttermilk flavor better. If you don’t think this is an easy recipe, watch this video, where I make the batter and make pancakes in less than 8 minutes.  You can too.

You mix the above ingredients to make a “thickish batter,” according to my aunt, and while the amount of buttermilk is up to you, I find that you get taller pancakes from a thicker batter. If you like thinner pancakes that cook a little faster, just add a little more buttermilk. Melt the butter on the griddle at 375 F, and cook the pancakes on the first side until you see a few bubbles. Turn them once and cook another minute or so.

This recipe came from my grandmother, the former Edna Perry, who married John Marshall Neely, M.D. in 1901, when she was 19. She probably brought the recipe with her, making it well over 100 years old. While it isn’t wildly unique, it works perfectly every time.