I cannot believe that next Tuesday, 9th February, is Shrove Tuesday, aka pancake day.
With Easter being super early this year, it would therefore naturally follow that pancake day is super early also, but really, it feels as if we have only just got Christmas out of the way and then we are slap bang into pancakes and Easter.
Not that I am complaining. As if I need any more reasons to eat pancakes.
I’ve been thinking about what kind of recipe to make for pancake day for a while. Or more to the point, what kind of filling did I want to do. Did I go savoury again? I kept thinking of caramel sauce, but I’ve done that one already. Pancakes from another country, got that covered too.
So I did what come naturally when in such a conundrum and consulted Pinterest.
Admittedly there were a lot of plain pancakes. And a lot that involved Nutella and bananas (hardly need a recipe for that). Buttermilk pancakes were featured heavily too. And then, I stumbled upon ricotta pancakes.
I have to say that the recipe I consulted sold me straight away on the mere mention that the ricotta added a creamy richness that provided a custard like centre.
Now, because I like to be nothing but honest, my version of ricotta pancakes are:
- taste a bit like a pancake
- taste slightly of comforting vanilla
- taste slightly of custard
but they do not have a middle that is like custard. Maybe if you added less flour you may get a more custard-y middle, but that experiment is on your own head. I like them just like this, for the following reasons:
- they stand up well to an utter drenching in maple syrup
- you can use them as a vehicle to get crispy bacon into your mouth without making a mess
- zapped in the microwave for 20-30 seconds the following day, they are perfectly acceptable spread with jam or honey
- the fact that you can spread them with jam or honey
I have also popped some in the freezer to see how they handle that, but at the time of writing I have yet to have any results to tell you. I will keep you posted.
The key to keeping them lovely and light is whipping the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter at the end. A little bit of extra work that is worth it.
Also, don’t be tempted to make them too big. Because, maybe, when you come to flip them over, one of them will over balance on the palette knife and kamikaze itself over the side and land, runny batter side down, on the knob for the particular gas ring you are using, meaning that if you need to alter the heat anytime, like immediately, you need to fight through an oozy gooey layer of batter and partially cooked pancake first. Maybe that might happen. It is possible. I mean, not that I would have any experience of that sort of thing at all . . .
- 250g tub of ricotta cheese
- 175g gluten-free self-raising flour (or 175g plain flour + 1/2 tsp baking powder)
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 180ml milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- butter for greasing the pan
- If your ricotta has quite a lot of liquid in it, place it in a sieve and allow the excess liquid to drain away while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour (plus baking powder if using), suer and salt.
- In a separate, larger, bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches, whisking well in-between each addition.
- Using a clean, hand held whisk, whisk the egg whites until the form soft peaks. Don’t use a stand mixer for this as the quantity of egg white is so small it will take a very long time. You can of course whisk by hand.
- Add a spoonful of the egg whites to the batter and mix in to loosen it.
- Fold the remaining egg whites into the batter using a spatula or metal spoon.
- Heat a griddle/frying pan/pancake pan over a medium high heat.
- Add a small amount of butter, enough to cover the bottom of the griddle/pan and using a 1/4 cup measure (or a spoon) place dollops of the batter on the pan.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and the edges are starting to set, before carefully flipping over and cooking the other side for another minute or so, until it is golden brown.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up.
- Although best served immediately, they can be kept in the fridge once cooled and reheated the next day.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2016