A squeeze of lemons brightens everyday pancakes. CONTRIBUTED BY PAULA PONTES
Photo: Paula Pontes
Photo: Paula Pontes

Kitchen Curious: Lemon stars in these fluffy, bright pancakes

What does this dish need?

That question causes many a home cook to head scratch after tasting a soup, stew or sauce, knowing that it is lacking something.

The answer is probably salt, fat, acid or heat, the basic elements of cooking, which author Samin Nosrat explores in her 450-page reference tome published in 2017.

Let’s focus for the moment on acid, which can be the key to elevating pancakes to better-than-average heights.

When it comes to doughs and batters, acid will “tenderize them, much as fat does,” Nosrat explains in “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” Acid will “disrupt the gluten network, resulting in a more tender product.”

Acid is also the solution to cookbook author Jeanine Donofrio’s many kitchen projects. She’s ready with ideas in her “Love and Lemons Every Day,” an ode to the yellow citrus fruit, which brings bright zing to recipes savory and sweet.

From a kitchen science standpoint, the citrus is what helps to make Donofrio’s whole-grain flapjacks fluffy and light. From an eater’s perspective, lemon adds a thankful burst of bright flavor. If you need more sunny sprightliness, thin the batter with dashes of lemon juice before reaching for other liquids like milk or water.

And when it’s time to dive in with fork and knife, pour on blueberry syrup. There’s no better pairing with these lemon pancakes than this berry of the moment.

Recipe from “Love and Lemons Every Day” by Jeanine Donofrio, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Jeanine Donofrio.

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