In the winter, I walk right past the raspberries glowing in their little plastic packages, set like enticing gems in the front of the store. Of course they catch our attention then! It’s winter, and everything is white and gray and brown. I walk past them not just because it feels a little creepy to be eating raspberries so out of season, but also because their $5 price tag just doesn’t quite seem worth it. I’d rather get more calories for my buck, you know?
Come summer, my abstinence pays off. Local summer raspberries are delicate, tender, and sweeter than anything from the grocery store. That they go bad within minutes (it seems), makes them all the more fleeting and important to be savored. It’s now, when the raspberries are perfect, that I will actually fork over all those singles so that I can go home with a pint. Then, after I’ve nibbled at a few, I chop the rest and throw them into these light, sweet pancakes. They’re an ideal summer morning treat.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Sweet Almond Pancakes with Fresh Raspberries
Makes 10 pancakes
I use almond milk in these to enhance the almond flavor and make them dairy free. You can substitute whatever milk you have on hand, dairy or non.
2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice (zest, then squeeze)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cream of tarter
1 pint fresh raspberries
Safflower oil, for the pan
Place the almonds and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor. Run until the almonds are finely ground–almost like flour.
Transfer the ground almonds to a bowl and add the egg yolks, almond milk, orange zest, juice, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle the flour on top and fold it in.
Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tarter in another mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until the egg whites on high until foamy. Slowly add the remaining tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Gently scoop the egg whites into the bowl with the rest of the batter and fold them in, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
Coarsely chop about half the pint of raspberries and fold them into the batter.
Heat a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Brush lightly with oil. Drip a small amount of batter onto the surface to test–it should not spread much and should be firm and golden brown on the bottom within about a minute.
Make pancakes by dropping scant 1/4-cup scoops of batter onto the pan. Cook about 2 minutes, until bubbles form on top, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until golden on both sides. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve with the rest of the fresh raspberries and dust with confectioners’ sugar.