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gingerbread pancakes 
by Yee-Fan Sun
 | 1 2

I have to be honest: the idea of gingerbread pancakes never would have occurred to me on my own. But the last time I was in San Francisco, my brother and sister-in-law took the boy and me to an adorable little French café for Sunday brunch, and told us we absolutely had to try the gingerbread pancakes. Now, I'm generally a bit of a pancake purist, and like them best when they're made straight up and simple with nothing more than a drizzle of real maple syrup for adornment. But these gingerbread pancakes were a thoroughly different concoction than the trying-too-hard fancy flapjacks I've encountered in breakfasts past. For one thing, there's that irresistibly cozy gingerbread smell of molasses and sweet spice. And then there's the way they taste, fluffy but not at all light, moist and rich with flavor. The pancakes were so delicious that when I came home, I immediately started experimenting with a recipe that would allow me to make gingerbread pancakes of my very own.

gingerbread pancakes
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. cooking oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup sour cream or yogurt

time 30 minutes
serves 2

1 Combine all the dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Combine all the wet ingredients in another bowl; give all that a good stir as well. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just combined. Don't get too zealous with the mixing at this point, as you want to avoid overdeveloping the gluten in the flour, unless tough and rubbery are qualities you like in your pancakes.
2 At this point, give the baking powder a little time to do its thing (if you look at the batter, you should start to see little bubbles forming). Resist the urge to stir your batter after it's gotten nice and bubbly -- you'll only release all that air, and your pancakes won't end up as airy.
3 Meanwhile, heat up a smidgen of cooking oil in a skillet or griddle. When a drop of batter immediately starts to come together when it hits the pan, the oil's ready. Use a ladle to spoon some batter into the pan - I generally make the first pancake small, as it's a guinea pig pancake that I use to decide whether the heat needs to be raised or lowered. When the top of the pancake is covered in tiny air holes, flip that baby. If you find that the bottom has burned by the time it reaches that stage, you'll want to turn down the heat to cook up your next batch.
4 Keep your pancakes toasty by placing them in a warmed oven until you've finished all the cooking and they're ready to be served (alternatively, if formality's not an issue, eat those pancakes as they come out of the pan -- they really do taste best that way). Serve with lemon curd (or maple syrup if your prefer) and fresh blueberries.

slide this way for the lemon curd recipe


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