I have always been more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker. There is something so comforting in a steaming cup of tea, each mug containing the elixir of your needs. Whether it be brewed for a pick-me-up, a calming relaxer, a nourishing sickness soother, a cozy invitation for-heart-to-heart talks, or just something in which to dunk sweet treats. There are endless possibilities to incorporating tea into cooking and it seems to be an ever-present theme in my desserts – chai creme brulee, oolong poached pears, jasmine custard with berries, or chamomile tea cakes to name a few.
Perhaps it is my sweet tooth that has dictated my ridiculous number of dessert recipes, because when a friend asked if I had ever infused breakfast with tea (an obvious combination) I was just as surprised as she that I hadn’t. I immediately started playing around with some ideas like chamomile french toast or rooibos yogurt crepes (stay tuned) and finally settled on Earl Grey pancakes with meyer lemon whipped cream, grapefruit, and dark chocolate.
Earl Grey tea is a black tea with a distinctive aroma and flavor, which comes from the bergamot orange – a citrus fruit originally from Calabria, Italy. Most Earl Grey tea we find today is infused with just the fragrant oils of the bergamot, but some of the more expensive blends have strips of bergamot zest as well.
For this recipe, feel free to use tea bags or loose leaf. Loose leaf tends to be stronger in flavor, which is why you need less tea than with the tea bags. If you don’t have Earl Grey, have fun experimenting with another type of tea for this recipe. This would be a perfect breakfast or brunch dish to serve for the upcoming holidays with friends and family.
Earl Grey Pancakes
Makes 1 dozen pancakes
- 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, plus more for cooking
- 2 cups milk or buttermilk or almond milk
- 4 tea bags or 1 Tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 4 Tbsp sugar, divided
- 1 tsp each: baking soda, baking powder, salt
- 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 grapefruits, segmented
- 1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate
- In small sauce pot, heat butter and milk over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat, add tea, cover pot with lid, and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain milk, discard tea leaves. and set milk aside to cool.
- Mix flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.
- Mix yolks and 1 Tbsp sugar, beat for about 3 minutes. Slowly add cooled milk mixture.
- Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Fold in egg whites carefully until well incorporated and batter is fluffy.
- Chill batter for 10-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip 1 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Add half of the zest, half of the juice, and the vanilla. Taste and adjust to your liking. You may add a touch of powdered sugar if you want.
- Heat large skillet over medium heat. Grease the pan with a paper towel that has been dipped in melted butter or oil.
- Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto hot skillet and spread into pancake shape with back of spoon.
- When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the edges are cooked, flip and continue to cook for two minutes more. Transfer to baking sheet in a warm oven while cooking the rest.
- Serve pancakes with meyer lemon whipped cream, grapefruit supremes, shaved chocolate, and the rest of the meyer lemon zest.