Pancakes are my absolute favorite breakfast food (ok, they tie with scones). The problem is that I am terrible at making them. Either they are burned on the outside or gooey on the inside. I am always in awe of a good pancake, but I must say I am pretty pickey about the ones I like. When I lived in Cincinnati (in another life, or so it feels)I worked at a place called First Watch. Primarily a breakfast place, they made pancakes that I still dream about. My favorite was the Wheat Germ pancakes topped with sliced strawberries and banana, topped with whip cream. When I drove from Michigan to Florida a few years ago I purposely drove through Cincinnati to go to First Watch.
In my own kitchen I am still trying to perfect pancakes. These pancakes from the Mother's Best cookbook are really good. I loved the idea of poppy seeds in pancakes and the almond paste sends them over the edge. Mine were just a wee bit gooey on the inside, but probably my best attempt at pancakes so far. Anyone have any suggestions for cooking the perfect pancake? continue to the recipe...
Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes
adapted slightly from Mother's Best
3-1/2 oz. almond paste
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. almond extract
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup poppy seeds
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Heat the oven to 200°F. Place the almond paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed while adding the milk, a little at a time, to loosen up the paste until it’s smooth and not lumpy.(I actually used my immersion blender for this part)
Add the sour cream, almond extract, and eggs. Whisk or blend until well-blended and smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk well to thoroughly combine.
Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients while gently stirring, and mix just until combined. (Don’t overmix or the pancakes will be chewy, like bread, instead of fluffy.) The mixture will be a little lumpy. Pour in the melted butter and gently mix just until incorporated.
Place a griddle or wide (preferably 14-inch) sauté pan over medium heat for several minutes. If using an electric griddle, set the heat to 350°F.
When the griddle is properly heated, brush with oil or clarified butter, and then wipe with a paper towel so it’s evenly greased.
Ladle 1/2 cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle, an inch or two apart. Sprinkle evenly with 1 Tbs. toasted almonds.
Cook until bubbles begin to pop on the surface of the pancakes, the edges look a little dry, and the underside is golden, about 2 minutes. Flip them over and continue cooking until the pancakes are cooked through, about 1 minute more.
Repeat with the remaining batter. Keep the pancakes warm on a heatproof platter or baking sheet in the oven.
Serve with butter and maple syrup.