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Puffed Pancakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon aromatic bitters (optional)
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or whatever is in season and handy)
Powdered sugar
Toasted almonds (or any other toasted nuts)


  • Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees F.
  • Place butter in an ovenproof ramekin, skillet, or other small baking dish and heat in the oven until the butter is melted (watch the butter carefully; it will melt fast due to the high oven temperature).
  • While the butter melts, beat the egg in a food processor, blender, or bowl with a wire whisk until light and bright yellow.
  • Gradually beat in the buttermilk and other liquid ingredients.
  • Gently mix in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into the pan of hot butter and return the pan to the oven.
  • Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 12 minutes.
  • Serve at once, accompanied by selected toppings.

Notes: You can also make larger pancakes in a skillet, paella pan, or any other relatively shallow ovenproof dish, and cut into wedges to serve. Temperature is very important in getting the pancake to puff, since there is no chemical leavening. The batter should be ice-cold and the oven very hot. We like to even mix the dry ingredients the night before and freeze them to make sure the batter is cold. You can also rest the batter in the refrigerator after mixing.

Makes one (1) pancake; multiply as needed