All the best to you and yours in and I wish you a happy and healthy 2012, filled with good people, amazing adventures and (of course) good food.
And how best to start off a new year than with a good breakfast?
My appreciation of all things breakfasty isn't that much of a secret. Breakfast for supper is a regular occurrence, meeting friends (old and new) over brunch (which is just fancy breakfast) is my preferred meal, and what I look forward to most--when visiting Ireland and the UK--is a good full Irish/English breakfast.
Even though I usually make blueberry pancakes or plain buttermilk pancakes, I decided to play with some leftover ricotta in my fridge and try to make ricotta pancakes.
After looking at a number of recipes including these, I couldn't quite wrap my head around what made for a good ricotta pancake...thin batter or thick, stiffly beaten whites or whole eggs, even citrus or vanilla was in question.
After a couple of attempts I came up with the following recipe. Its batter is of a wet, dropping consistency, but not so much so. For fluffiness I decided to treat the pancake as I did my favourite waffles and beat the egg whites separately. The partial bowl of clementines on my dining room tilted my flavouring decision (but to tell you the truth, my first version used vanilla (which was fine, but I think citrus zest adds a lovely brightness to the pancakes).
Tender and fluffy pancakes--a nice way to welcome the New Year.
Yield: approx 6 quarter plate-sized pancakes or approx 15-20 saucer-sized pancakes
4 eggs, separated
250g (250ml/1c) ricotta cheese
125ml (0.5c) milk
1.5Tbsp (20ml) sugar
1.5Tbsp (20ml) melted butter
1tsp grated orange or lemon zest
90g (185ml/0.66c) all purpose flour
0.5tsp (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
0.5tsp (2.5ml) baking powder
Butter or oil for frying
Whip the four egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.
Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt into a jug. In a separate bowl, mix well the two yolks, ricotta, milk, sugar, butter and zest. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, until it has barely combined (it's fine if it's lumpy with dry bits and wet bits).
Fold in the egg whites, in the usual three stage method: stir in well one third of the whites, fold in the next third, with a lighter hand, and then lightly fold in the rest of the whites doing your best to keep the batter as airy as possible.
Drop about a teaspoon or two of fat into a pan and let it become sizzling hot. Pour the batter, by spoon or by ladle, and let cook. When the pancakes start to bubble and spurt little bits of steam like geysers, carefully flip them over to let the second side cook.
Serve with warmed syrup, some honey, yoghurt or citrus curd.