These ultrafluffy pancakes are a lemony twist on a diner classic.
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In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and egg yolk, and lemon zest and juice until combined. Add melted butter and whisk until well combined.
Meanwhile, add oil to large stovetop griddle or electric griddle. Use paper towel to spread oil into thin, even coating over surface of griddle. Discard paper towel. For stovetop griddle, place over 2 burners and heat over low heat for at least 5 minutes. For electric griddle, heat to 350 degrees.
To make medium-size flapjacks: Use ⅓-cup dry measuring cup to scoop ⅓ cup batter onto griddle. Use rubber spatula to scrape batter from cup and spread into 5-inch circle. Repeat 3 more times, leaving space between mounds of batter.
To make large-size flapjacks: Use ⅓-cup dry measuring cup to scoop ⅔ cup batter onto griddle. Use rubber spatula to scrape batter from cup and spread into 7-inch circle. Repeat 1 more time, leaving space between mounds of batter.
If you want to serve these flapjacks all at once (rather than as they come off the griddle), first heat your oven to 200 degrees—just warm enough to keep the flapjacks hot but not so hot that they dry out. As you make the flapjacks, place them on a cooling rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Then place the baking sheet in the warm oven. The flapjacks can stay in the oven for 15 minutes—long enough for you to cook the remaining batter.
The short-order cooks who work in diners cook pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and more on a flattop—a large, flat cooking surface, kind of like a GIANT griddle. This lets them cook food for lots of orders all at once!
The Palace Diner first went into service in the town of Biddeford, Maine in 1927 and has been serving breakfast and lunch ever since.
This tiny restaurant (it has just 15 seats!) is an example of a “dining car” diner. Dining cars were small restaurants built to look like train cars. They became hugely popular in the 1920s and 1930s, but you can still find some of these train-like restaurants all over the United States today.
When co-owners Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell took over the Palace Diner in 2014, the diner became known for its breakfast menu, especially the flapjacks. “There are a few things that make the recipe unique,” Chef Conley told us. “One is the addition of lemon zest for flavor and aroma. Another is the addition of lemon juice, which adds to that flavor and aroma, but, more importantly, the acidity reacts with the baking soda to create extra lift. That helps to make them superfluffy.”
Whether they’re serving fluffy flapjacks, gooey tuna melts, or creamy milkshakes, diners are a piece of American culinary history. For Chef Conley, a diner is a “fundamentally American restaurant serving fundamentally American cuisine . . . heartwarming, cozy comfort food. And part of what’s enjoyable about diner food is that everyone enters the door knowing that’s what they’re getting.”