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Matafans (Savory Pancakes) with Fresh Herbs, Sour Cream & Bacon


Yields 12 pancakes

These savory pancakes from the Savoie region of France are perfect for brunch or a simple dinner. Because of the beaten egg whites in the batter, you’ll need to cook the whole batch of matafans in one session, but leftovers reheat well.

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted; plus another-1/4-cup for the pan
  • 2 Tbs. mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon; more for garnish, if you like
  • 6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and heavy cream. Refrigerate.

Put the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the egg yolks. Break them up and gradually whisk them in, along with the buttermilk, just until combined (there will still be a few small lumps); don’t overwhisk or the cakes will be tough. Add the salt and the 1/4 cup melted butter and whisk to combine; it will look like lumpy pancake batter. Stir in the herbs.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently whisk about one-quarter of the whites into the batter to lighten it and then gently fold in the rest with a rubber spatula.

Heat 1 tsp. butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Scoop about 1/3 cup batter into the middle of the pan and immediately nudge it with a heatproof rubber spatula toward the edge of the pan so it spreads to about 1/4 inch thick. When the first side is browned and crisp around the edges, after about 1 to 2 min., flip the matafan. Cook to brown and crisp the other side, 1 to 2 min. Wipe out the pan with a wadded paper towel and cook the remaining batter the same way.

Serve immediately, topped with a spoonful of the sour cream mixture, the crumbled bacon, and fresh herbs, if you want. You can hold the cooked matafans in a 200°F oven, layered between paper towels on a baking sheet, until you’ve cooked the entire batch, 20 to 30 min.


Store leftovers layered between paper towels and wrapped in plastic. To reheat, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat until warm and crisp, about 1 minute per side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per matafan, Calories (kcal): 170, Fat Calories (kcal): 110, Fat (g): 12, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4, Cholesterol (mg): 130, Sodium (mg): 210, Carbohydrates (g): 10, Fiber (g): 0, Protein (g): 6

Photo: Scott Phillips

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