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Christmas Morning Pancakes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

On Christmas morning the house is quiet, all are asleep after yesterday's celebrations, the gifts are waiting to be opened, and you want to treat your crowd with something special. This time I had a recipe in mind that was inspired by the one found on Dr.Oz's website, but modified on the go. These pancakes are just what is needed for a holiday family breakfast: puffy, aromatic, surprisingly good, they soften and unite souls at one table. Breakfast was planned and turned out perfect this Christmas, and here's the recipe.
What you need:
3 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup (grade B)
1 cup whole milk
Juice & zest of one lemon
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 pinch salt
1.5 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
For the topping:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp orange zest
Orange slices & maple syrup on the side

Make ricotta topping and toss it in the fridge to chill.
Whisk together egg yolks, 1 Tbsp sugar, maple syrup, salt, lemon juice & zest, sour cream, and milk. Beat egg whites with 1 Tbsp sugar until soft peaks form. Shake flour through the sieve together with baking soda and baking powder, mix in the egg yolks mixture (not too vigorously, just to incorporate ingredients, some lumps are OK). Fold in the whites. Your batter will be very foamy.
Heat up a non-stick skillet on high heat, reduce heat to medium and pour in a few Tbsp oil (with neutral smell). Temperature of the oil is important: if it is too high, the pancakes will begin to burn soon, will not rise enough and will be not cooked through, if it is too low, the pancakes will be flat and greasy. Ladle about 1/3 cup (or about 2 Tbsp) batter per pancake into heated oil.
Heated oil forms a nice pattern
Don't place them too close to one another since they will expand while cooking. Fry until bubbles form on the surface and the frying side is nice and golden, then flip over and do the other side. Add oil if necessary. If you use too little oil, your pancakes will not have a beautiful pattern, so when oil is absorbed add some more. Place ready pancakes on a plate lined with a few layers of paper towels to absorb oil.
Serve hot with chilled ricotta topping, orange slices, and extra maple syrup. Watch happy faces and risen brows. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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