Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Ricotta Pancakes

Breakfast doesn't have to be boring. Supposedly it's the most important meal of the day, so why not make it the tastiest? Pancakes might feel like a bit of a time consuming luxury first thing in the morning, but actually they're simple, nutritious, and scrumptious. These ricotta pancakes take the luxury factor up a notch - to a light, pillowy dream. Served with cream and your favourite jam this is a pretty sumptuous, some might even say opulent, breakfast. Best served in bed, with coffee and the papers. 

The key to a great pancake (the American style, not crepe) is air. To achieve a light, fluffy pancake you have to take every opportunity to get air into the batter.

For two very greedy breakfasters:

150g ricotta cheese
2/3 cup of self raising flour (approx 100g)
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
Dash of milk if needed
A few good scrapes of lemon zest
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Butter for frying

To serve:

Double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (or even better - half a vanilla pod)
Raspberry conserve

Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites to a soft peak - see photo below. Put the yolks in a bowl with the ricotta, sugar, milk, lemon zest, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until well combined. Sift in flour (from a height if possible, get as much air in there as possible) and stir to combine. With a spatula, slowly and gently fold in the egg whites - don't knock the air out! 

DO NOT OVER MIX! Lumps are okay. The mixture will be quite thick, but depending on the liquidity of your ricotta you may need to add a dash of milk to loosen a bit. It should pour, but slowly, to form fat pancakes, approx 6" in diametre. On a medium heat, melt butter in your skillet/frying pan and fry your pancakes. They are ready to turn when bubbles pop on the surface of the pancake - see pic below.

Whip up the double cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until thick. Serve pancakes topped with cream and your favourite conserve. I'm partial to raspberry. Or you can be a purist and stick with good ol' maple syrup. Either way, scrummy. 


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