Auntie Helen was born in San Francisco in 1887. Early memories of her are as the matriarch of a household that included my great-grandmother, David Yee, their driver who’d escaped China during the Revolution of 1949, and their Danish cook, Dagne, who’s silver dollar sized Cottage Cheese Pancakes have become legend. They were on every holiday morning menu at our family home; if you had an invitation to brunch at “1651” you could count on CCPs. The Bryans brought a bowl of batter to Easter Brunch: my 13 year old niece cooked, her brother served, and guests who’d never had them swooned!
Auntie Helen’s nieces and nephews enthusiastically passed the recipe to their children who have passed it along to theirs. Today I give a gluten-free version of it to you. It requires using four bowls of various sizes. Mine came from Beantree Pottery, www.beantreepottery.com/, the studio of potter, Nancy Carroll. I love and appreciate her work as an artist and teacher – check out the site!
Cottage Cheese Pancakes (Serves 2, but double and double again!)
1/4 cup (1.5 oz.) gluten free flour mix (yours, ours, or Trader Joe’s)
1 tablespoon (.25 oz.) almond flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoons melted butter (I like it slightly browned)
scant 1/2 cup cottage cheese (if you’re quadrupling this recipe it’d be 1 pint minus 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons milk
Serve with melted lightly salted butter, maple syrup, and/or jam
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Separate the egg(s) into two bowls, a larger mixing bowl for the white(s) and small one for the yolk.
4. Combine the milk and cottage cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl.
5. Whisk the egg yolk(s) until light in color. Add the butter, stirring constantly so the butter doesn’t cook the yolk. Add this mixture to the milk and cottage cheese, stirring to blend.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the cheese, milk, egg mixture.
7. In the larger bowl, whisk the egg white(s) until stiff, but not “dry”. Gently fold the batter into the egg white(s).
8. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Using a spatula, spread a teaspoon of vegetable oil over the hot surface. If the oil smokes, remove the pan from the heat for a minute to let it cool a bit.
9. Drop small spoonfuls of batter onto the hot skillet. Remember pancakes are like children the first batch or two can be burned or raw, until the pan is tempered; then they’re just right! The batter will puff slightly like a souffle, and small bubbles will appear at the edges when they’re ready to flip using a small metal spatula. Even the misshapen experiments will be delicious! I find I don’t have to add more oil to the pan unless I’m cooking a double batch, and then possibly only once. The melted cheese might stick to your spatula. If so, take the time to clean it, helping to insure easy flipping.
Enjoy this special recipe!