I’ve been hearing about these pancakes from my parents since I was born (or as far back as I can remember, I guess) — soft, light, delicate sour cream pancakes that they discovered at some now defunct cafe in Berkeley. My mom had cut a recipe out of the newspaper at some point, but they were never able to get it quite right.
With a tub of left over sour cream and a hankering for pancakes, I remembered my parents’ pancakes and did a quick Google search, which turned up an article and a recipe.
I made the batter the night before (something I know my parents never did), used expired cake flour (they’ve been using all purpose, they have no idea what cake flour is) and whipped up a batch, one tablespoonful of batter at a time on my cast iron skillet. I never had the original pancakes (I wasn’t born yet) but I have to think I got pretty close. The pancakes were bite sized (that’s a full size dinner plate in the pictures) clouds of creamy, eggy batter barely held together and quick to dissolve in my mouth.
The two people I fed both said they were the best pancakes ever — “These things are good. And I don’t like pancakes! Can I have more? I’m going to eat until I’m uncomfortably full!”
Notes for next time: I made .75 batches of batter, which fed three people comfortably. Also, cooking them on a cast iron skillet produces the pale, slightly mottled pancakes in the pictures above. A non stick skillet seems to produce a more even, darker brown. Lastly, a very light layer of vegetable shortening seemed to work best.