I had a six year old sleep over on Saturday night. Together, the two of us baked cookies, watched movies, played Scrabble (in which my opponent tallied scores post-match of me: 76, her: 6,710,000,000 - which I let slide as she'd impressed in the game by adding an EL to DAMS to form DAMSEL) and then, on Sunday morning, we made pancakes. I had a perfectly good pancake recipe already, which I've shared on this blog, but had been itching to try another I'd come across in my daily trawling of The Kitchn. The basic ingredients were the same - if in slightly different proportions - but the great innovation was the separation of the egg. Before you stop reading, let me assure you this was really no extra work because - to my great surprise - you did not even have to whisk the egg white (as many other recipes I'd seen advocate), but simply fold it in as is right at the end. Somehow this simple step results in pancakes that are wondrously light and fluffy without any extra effort or baking powder.
She had hers with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. I had mine with yoghurt, berries, pistachios and maple syrup. In pancakes, if not in Scrabble, both of us scored equally well.
Adapted from a recipe by The Kitchn
This quantity works for 2 or 3 people, depending on how greedy they are. Double the recipe to capably feed a crowd.
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Heat the oven to 225°F and prepare a large baking sheet by setting a cooling rack inside. Place both in the oven.
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolk, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted, cooled butter and whisk until well combined.
Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combined. Add the egg white and stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, film with 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil such as canola or peanut oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and use a soup spoon to drop in heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter.
The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.
Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet in the oven. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet, add a little more oil, and continue to cook the remaining batter.