BLT Quark Pancakes with Chipotle Bourbon Dressing

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by Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest

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I have tried a lot of cheese, but Wisconsin quark cheese was new to me. I could not believe I had never cooked or baked with it before. Quark is like ricotta’s saltier cousin mixed with a creamy version of feta. It’s absolutely delicious in so many recipes. When I first tried it, I had so many ideas of how to use quark in my recipes, but one recipe stuck out, and that was these BLT Quark Pancakes with Chipotle Bourbon Dressing.

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I knew that the salty, creamy quark would lend great flavor and texture to my pancakes, while still keeping them light and fluffy. I also knew that it being August, a BLT pancake would be the perfect fit. What a great way to use up those fresh garden tomatoes and greens. To play up the quark cheese flavors, not only did I use the quark in my pancakes, but I also whipped it with a little bit of lemon zest for topping.

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I’m telling you guys, this is the ultimate light meal or party appetizer. It’s so fun to put out these pretty little quark pancakes topped with tomatoes, the whipped quark, bacon, lettuce and some spicy sweet dressing. They not only taste delicious, but they always receive plenty of oohs and aahs!!

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BLT Quark Pancakes with Chipotle Bourbon Dressing
By Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest

 

Servings: 12 as an appetizer, 6 as an entrée

 

Ingredients:

 

For Chipotle Bourbon Dressing:

1/4 cup bourbon (optional)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, minced

1 clove garlic, minced or grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

For Quark Pancakes:

2 eggs, whites separated from yolks

16 ounces (1 pound) Wisconsin quark cheese, divided

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

 

To Serve:

1/3 cup heavy cream

Zest from 1/2 lemon

8 slices cooked bacon

2 tomatoes, preferably heirloom, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cups arugula or other dark greens

 

Cooking Directions:

 

For Chipotle Bourbon Dressing:

In small saucepan over medium heat, bring bourbon, if using, to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl; add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, chipotle pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste; whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

 

For Quark Pancakes:

Beat egg whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.

 

Combine 8 ounces quark cheese, buttermilk and egg yolks in separate, larger mixing bowl. Add flour, honey, baking soda and salt to batter, stirring gently until just combined.

 

Stir small scoop of egg whites into mixture to lighten batter; fold in remaining beaten whites with spatula.

 

Heat skillet over medium heat. Coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup pancake batter onto center of hot skillet for entrée-sized pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear on pancake’s surface. Using spatula, gently flip the pancake; cook second side until golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Keep pancakes warm in low oven.

 

To Serve:

Place remaining 8 ounces quark cheese in mixing bowl. Add heavy cream. Using electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk until quark is whipped, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon zest. Stack pancakes on serving plates; top with bacon, tomato slices, halved cherry tomatoes and arugula. Add dollop of whipped quark cheese and drizzle with reserved dressing.

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