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Best Buttermilk* Pancakes

These pancakes are the little black dress of the culinary world.  They are delicious with pure maple syrup for an easy weekday breakfast, or they can be brunch superstar with a decadent Creme de Cassis whipped cream and fresh berries.

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Pancakes:

  • 128 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce to 1/4 tsp)
  • 188 g whole milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 28 g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Crème de Cassis Whipped Cream:

  • 250 g heavy cream, cold and shaken well
  • 55 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp Creme de Cassis (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)

Instructions

Instructions:

Before the Batter:

  1. Combine the whole milk and vinegar/lemon juice in a two-cup liquid measuring cup.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Separate the egg white from the yolk while the egg is cold.  Place the egg white in a very clean metal or glass bowl, free of any residue (residue will prevent whites from whipping properly).  Set aside until ready for use.

For the Batter:

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Add the egg yolk, butter, and vanilla extract to the milk mixture.  Whisk until very well combined.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a whisk.  Stop when the batter is the texture of a lumpy futon, with a few streaks of flour remaining.
  4. Using a balloon whisk or mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.  
  5. Fold egg whites into the batter, taking care not to over-mix.  The batter will have streaks of egg whites when you are done and this is okay!
  6. If time permits, allow the batter to rest for 10-30 minutes.  This will let the flour naturally and fully mix into the batter.

To Make the Pancakes:

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and add two tablespoons of butter.
  2. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to add batter to the cast iron skillet.  Cook until there are several bubbles around the edges of the pancakes.  (~90 seconds)
  3. Turn the pancake and, for the love of everything good in the world, please do not smash it down after turning.  Allow the pancake to cook for another 45 seconds-1 minute, or until both sides are golden brown.
  4. Remove the pancake from the skillet to a clean plate.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the batter, turning down the temperature if the skillet begins to smoke.  Replace butter as needed to cook the pancakes.

To Make the Creme de Cassis Whipped Cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cold heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar.  You can also do this task by hand with a balloon whisk and a large bowl.
  2. Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, whisk on high speed (on a Kitchenaid, between 8-10) for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture begins to form soft peaks.  If doing by hand, this process takes about 2-4 minutes.
  3. Add the Crème de Cassis and whip on high speed until the mixture forms semi-stiff peaks.  With a stand mixer, this can take as few as 10 seconds.  If doing this by hand, it can take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
  4. Don’t walk away from the mixer while it’s working!  Whipped cream happens fast and you don’t want to it to break.
  5. Top the pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream, fresh berries, or your favorite pancake topping and enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe uses the only baking substitution that I currently use: the buttermilk hack.  I like this hack because buttermilk can be difficult to source for some, and this hack works just as well as the real thing in this recipe.  If you have actual buttermilk, feel free to use 1 cup (250 mL) in this recipe.
  • Author: Shani