I happen to live across the street from Plow, which is deservedly known as San Francisco’s best brunch restaurant. On every single day of the week, crowds will line up around the block and wait hours for a seating, but the hype is completely justified. Not only is the entire menu incredible, but the ingredients are organic and locally sourced, the decor and atmosphere are to die for, and the big portions are spot on.
Plow is especially famous for their lemon ricotta pancakes, but I am even more fond of their almond flour pancakes, which are unlike any other nut-based or gluten-free pancake I’ve tried. They are fluffy, rich, and buttery, but not at all grainy, and not even very almond-tasting. Proximity to Plow has bestowed me with certain benefits, and I sneak out for almond flour pancakes embarrassingly often. Thus, I’ve had lots of time to let my curiosity for these little miracles grow, and I finally began a massive internet search and plenty of experimenting to land on a recipe that (dare I say) is as good as Plow’s.
To be clear, I have absolutely no idea what Plow’s actual recipe is for almond flour pancakes, but this delivered the taste and texture I was aiming for. I did find a recipe online, supposedly for Plow’s ricotta pancakes, and it was there that I discovered the “secret” ingredient: beaten egg whites. Separating the eggs and beating the egg whites is kind of a pain, when it comes to pancake making – what should be a quick and easy weekend breakfast, but I promise, it is well worth the effort. Also, using a high speed blender for the other ingredients is a bit tricky, as the batter is slightly too thick to be blended efficiently. Try to be patient, and only add as much liquid as is absolutely necessary to keep the blender going. The richness of the batter makes the pancakes thicker and much easier to flip.
- 1 3/4 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, room temperature, separated
- 3/4 cup milk of choice (I used whole cow’s milk)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Butter for the pan
- Maple syrup, fruit, and more butter for serving
In a high speed blender, combine the almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, egg yolks, milk, and maple syrup. Blend (this may be a tricky process – add a bit more milk if necessary) until completely smooth. The batter should be thick and paste-like.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks have formed, Scrape the batter into the egg whites, and carefully fold until incorporated.
Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat. spread the butter evenly around the pan. Scoop about 1/4-1/3 cup batter into the pan and cook until the bottom side is a deep golden brown. Flip the pancake and cook until the other side is browned. Repeat this process with the rest of the pancake batter. Lay the finished pancakes on a sheet pan and heat in a 200 degree oven until ready to eat. Serve with butter, maple syrup, and fruit!