On the morning I brought myself to make these beauties, D had woken me early to say good-bye before being whisked away to a tropical beach to shoot a concert. Rough, right? Soon after that, the kid would rise and demand his usual yogurt and banana, and the contrast of that to palm trees and a swank hotel was just a bit too much to handle. To distract me from the jealousy that was no doubt eating away at me, I busied myself with a little project; a blueberry pancake project.
The last time I made pancakes was nearly a year ago. Blueberries were popping up at the farmers’ markets in New York, and Oliver was eating them by the pint. D had just started the job in Atlanta and so Oliver and I spent many a quiet summer evenings, recovering from 100 degree days, snacking on these blueberry pancakes before our best attempts at a bedtime routine.
In those days, every taste experience was new to Oliver, and there wasn’t a thing he’d say no to. “My child will eat anything!” I’d say, wearing his appetite like a badge of honor. Those days are as far from us as that tiny Brooklyn apartment. Despite my best efforts to raise a good, adventurous eater, Oliver’s tastes have somewhat plateaued. His diet lately is made up of white to beige foods only – oatmeal, bananas, yogurt, peanut butter and bread. Fortunately for both of us, these buttermilk pancakes topped with a yogurt sauce turned out to be an acceptable compromise.
This particular recipe called for a mix of quinoa and oat flours, (making it gluten-free) and a mix of yogurt, buttermilk or milk. I have to say I’m not totally sold on the quinoa flour, it comes off a little grassy (perhaps why the original recipe calls for lemon extract?) I am however sold on using whole grain flours. Given Oliver’s proclivity for bread, pasta and crackers, I feel a need to pack a little nutrition into all that fluff. Next time I’ll just tweak the flour and use a mix of buckwheat, oat and all-purpose or wheat flours. It should be noted that any of this breakfast’s shortcomings could possibly be the product of telephone, as I adapted this from an adaptation, so it’s entirely possible that some things were lost in translation.
But that’s not to say there’s not a lot to like about this recipe, First, there’s very little sugar, which I’m sure any parent can appreciate. Second, the technique of folding in whipped egg whites does indeed make for a fluffy little cake. On paper this might seem like a hassle, but don’t be intimidated! D uses the same practice on the rare occasion of making ebelskivers, and he’ll tell you it’s quite manageable. I’m always nervous folding egg whites into batter, but just try to cushion them as much as possible. I think of it as passive aggressive stirring really, skirting around the edges, avoiding the meat of the matter.
After mixing all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce together I found it a little thick, so I added a little extra lemon juice. Once the yogurt was lemony enough for my tastes, I added water until it was thin enough to pour. I suspect it would depend on how thick the yogurt was to begin with, but feel free to make adjustments. I think it would look pretty with some lemon zest as well.
Quinoa Pancakes with Blueberries and Yogurt Sauce
- 1/3 cup quinoa flour
- 1/3 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tspn. salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- butter for frying
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
In a large bowl mix first six ingredients. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix egg yolks, buttermilk, extract, lemon zest and juice. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Fold into batter.
In small frying pan melt a small pat of butter. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the center of the pan (You could also use a larger pan and cook more than one at a time. Should you go this route, I’d suggest making the cakes smaller, using 1/4 cup of batter instead.) Cook until bubbles form throughout the batter (about two minutes), flip and cook for another minute or so until golden. Repeat.
To make yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients. Add water if necessary to thin.
Serve the pancakes warm, with a drizzle of yogurt sauce and a handful of fresh berries.