Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Potato Lefse

April 1, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, pancakes & waffles, tuesdays with dorie | 22 Comments
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potato lefse

I didn’t really know much about Potato Lefse before Beatrice Ojakangas’s TWD recipe of the week.  I quizzed my half-Norwegian friend, and she told me that they are kind of like crêpes and that there’s also a non-potato variety.  She said she’s never made them herself, but buys premade ones and reheats them.  Ha–looks like I’m one up on you now, Karen!  That was mean…I should invite her over for leftovers and see what she thinks.

Making the lefse dough was easy.  It basically starts with super-smooth mashed potatoes that you air dry in the fridge overnight.  Then the next day, you knead flour into the mash and divide the dough into pieces.  Shaping and cooking the dough is where it gets tricky.  There are a whole host of special tools that  hard-core lefse enthusiasts use– a grooved rolling pin and a cloth-covered round board to roll the dough, a big, flat round griddle to cook the lefse on and a long, flat wooden stick to lift and flip them.  Darn, I don’t have any of that stuff.  I poked around the cabinets to see what I could use instead.  This is what I came up with: my regular rolling pin and my Silpat to roll the dough, and a flat cast iron crêpe pan and stick that I have.  It would have been easier to cook these with another person, so one could roll the lefse dough balls while the other cooked them off.  By myself, it was kind of a process, but I got better as I moved along.  My crêpe pan is only 11″ wide, as opposed to 16″ for a lefse pan, so I divided my dough into 16 balls instead of 12.  With plenty of flour, I was able to get them rolled nice and thin on the Silpat.  I didn’t even need that stick to lift them off…I was just kind of able to flip and peel them onto my hand, tortilla-style.  They cooked up perfectly and got nice speckles on the crêpe pan, and the stick came in handy for flipping them.

potato lefse

Apparently, much like a crêpe, you can wrap lefse around lots of fillings (even hot dogs–gotta try that!), but we went the sweet route for breakfast, with butter and cinnamon sugar on some an lingonberry jam on others.  They do taste slightly potatoey, but it’s a pleasant earthiness that was surprisingly nice with the sweet fillings. For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  As Sandra pointed out there’s a video of Beatrice making lefse alongside Martha Stewart.  Beatrice uses slightly different measurements than she does in the book, but it’s a great watch for the process of making, shaping and cooking the dough.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Pumpkin Waffles

November 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles, sweet things | 5 Comments
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pumpkin waffles

It may be all about dinner on Thursday, but somehow this year I’m not cooking the turkey, so I get to focus on a lazy holiday breakfast instead.  The next few days are gonna be go-time at work, cranking out orders for pecan and pumpkin pies and cranberry upside-down cakes.  I know already that it will be pastry versus the savory kitchen, battling for space in the one convection oven we have.  If I come out alive, sleeping in and having breakfast at home will feel good after all this.

Waffles are a perfect way to use up that open can of pumpkin we always seem to have in the fridge this time of year.  And I don’t use my waffle iron that often, so making them seems a little more special than pancakes. These pumpkin waffles have all the usual warm spices I associate with pumpkiny treats, and they cook up to that beautiful rusty orange color of autumn leaves. Maple syrup is my normal waffle topping, but I’m kind of thinking that cranberry sauce would be pretty good, too.

pumpkin waffles

Pumpkin Wafflesmakes 4-6 large round waffles 
from Pumpkin Waffles Blog

Steph’s Note:  Don’t have a kitchen scale?  This recipe with volume measurements can be found here.

50 g light brown sugar
24 g cornstarch
156 g all-purpose flour
7.2 g baking powder
3.0 g salt
3.0 g cinnamon
3.5 g ginger
0.5 g cloves
0.6 g freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
240 g whole milk
244 g canned solid-pack pumpkin
56 g unsalted butter, melted and warm

maple syrup and butter for serving

-Heat the oven to 200°F and heat a waffle iron, preferably a Belgian waffle iron.

-Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk together to break apart the cornstarch. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and whisk to blend.

-Separate the eggs– yolks go in a medium-sized bowl and whites get set aside in a smaller bowl.

-Add pumpkin and milk to the egg yolks. Whisk to blend and set aside.

-Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high to stiff peaks (you could do this by hand instead)– about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Set aside.

-Pour melted butter into the yolk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, whisk to combine.

-Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix them together until just combined. A little lumpiness is fine. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added.

-Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.

-Brush the waffle iron with a little vegetable oil. Working in batches, cook the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions until crisp and golden. Set the waffles directly on the oven rack to keep warm. Do not stack them.

-Serve the waffles with the syrup and butter.  You can freeze leftover waffles to recrisp another day.

Savory Cheddar and Scallion Waffles

March 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles, savory things | 9 Comments
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savory cheddar and scallion waffles

Usually I don’t work on Fridays.  Typically I have the day to myself.  Sometimes I do errands or shopping.  Occasionally I can find a friend to escape work and have lunch with me.  Always I eat breakfast and watch episodes of House Hunters.

Breakfast du jour was a Savory Cheddar and Scallion waffle topped with salsa, sour cream and an egg.  I treat myself right, don’t I?  Actually I just pulled the waffle out of the freezer and reheated it.  It was leftover from a “breakfast for dinner” night earlier in the week. That’s the beauty of a savory waffle…perfect for brekkie or dinner.  It’s not weird, trust me. This one has a bit of a Southwestern twist to it– some cornmeal, scallions, cheddar, cilantro and hot sauce (I use a heavy hand with the Crystal).  I was worried that the cheese might adhere to the waffle iron and act like superglue…it didn’t.  I had beautifully formed, crisp-edged waffles with buttermilk tang and a savory flavor.

I’m trying to use my waffle iron more often.  After I get past the annoyance of removing it from its styrofoam and box (yes, OK, I am an original packaging hoarder), making waffles is really fun.  And eating them, even more.

savory cheddar and scallion waffles

Savory Cheddar and Scallion Waffles– serves 2-4 (this made four big waffles in my iron)
adapted from Eating for England (who adapted it from Joy the Baker and Williams Sonoma)

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c cornmeal (coarse, if you have it)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
couple dashes of hot sauce, to taste
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c finely grated cheddar cheese
1 chopped scallion, white and green parts
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

-Heat your oven to 200°F and heat your waffle iron, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Grease it with a little vegetable oil if it needs it.

-In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, sugar and salt.

-In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, hot sauce and buttermilk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then add the cheese, scallions and cilantro. Stir until just incorporated. Try not to over-mix the batter.

-Cook according to your waffle machine instructions.  Hold the finished waffles in the warm oven while you make the rest.

-Garnish as you wish (for me, it was salsa, sour cream, an egg and some extra cilantro) and serve immediately.  If you have extra waffles, wrap them well and freeze them…they can be recrisped in the toaster or oven.

Cinnamon “Toast” Cloudcakes

March 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 13 Comments
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cinnamon toast cloudcakes

Weekend mornings are made for laziness and pancakes.  Unfortunately for the last few weeks, Saturdays here have not been so lazy.  We’re getting the windows replaced in our house, and it’s been a long and messy process that, six days a week, starts with contractors coming over at 8:30 and ends in me finding at least one new ding in our carefully refinished original wood floors.  Seriously, that makes me want to pull my hair out.  Thankfully, there’s Sunday.  A day when I don’t have to worry about being changed out of my Hello Kitty pajama pants before nine.  A day when I can make Cinnamon “Toast” Cloudcakes for breakfast!

Cloudcakes require a little extra effort than regular pancakes, but if I can handle it in the morning, then I promise you can, too.  Really, you just need to whip and fold some egg whites…that’s what makes them puffy and cloud-light.  The “cinnamon toast” here just refers to spicing in the batter.  If you want plain cloudcakes, simply axe the cinnamon.  The recipe sounds like it makes a ton, but they are just little silver dollar-sized things, so a tall stack is what you’re after.  I made a half-recipe for just the two of us.  And some turkey bacon, which I see now looks totally weird in pictures.

Cinnamon “Toast” Cloudcakes- makes twenty-five 3-inch pancakes, serving 4 to 6
from Cook’s Country (April/May 2005)

Home stovetops vary, so you may need to adjust the burner setting between medium-low and medium. For maximum rise, allow the eggs and buttermilk to come up to room temperature before using them. Low-fat buttermilk works best here; if using fat-free buttermilk, reduce the amount to 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Although these pancakes are at their puffiest when served in batches, they can be kept warm on a cooling rack coated with cooking spray and placed over a sheet pan in a 200°F oven for up to 20 minutes.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk (see headnote)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 extra egg whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

-Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in large bowl. Stir buttermilk and sour cream together in medium bowl until combined. Add egg yolks and butter to buttermilk mixture, and stir well to combine. With electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat all 4 egg whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Pour buttermilk mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. (Batter should be lumpy, with visible streaks of flour.) Using spatula, carefully fold whites into batter until just combined. Do not overmix–a few streaks of whites should be visible.

-Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Using 1/8-cup measure or small ladle, spoon batter into pan. Cook until bottoms are evenly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve, cooking remaining batter and using more vegetable oil as needed to grease pan.

Spiced Yogurt Waffles with Toasted Pecan Maple Syrup

January 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles, sweet things | 25 Comments
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spiced yogurt waffles with taosted pecan maple syrup
Since we moved back to Brooklyn, I’ve been going out for a lot of Sunday brunches with my BFF, who handily lives about a twenty minute walk away.  I like having breakfast made for me, and a spicy bloody Mary in my hand while I catch up with a friend.  But, truth be told, most of what I shell out hard-earned $$ for at brunch, I could make just as well (and sometimes better) at home.  When it’s too cold out and the snowbanks are too high to scramble over, I do just that.

I don’t take my waffle maker out of its box very often (in fact, the last time I did, it was to make these apple ones), but sometimes the urge strikes to switch things up from eggs or pancakes.  I always have yogurt in the fridge, so I wanted to give this recipe a try.  The warm spices and pecans also sounded pretty good to me on a chilly morning.  I read that some folks thought they didn’t turn out crispy enough, so I gave mine a few extra seconds in the iron to make sure that wasn’t an issue.  Bring on the maple syrup, and I think I just may keep the waffle maker out for another week!!

spiced yogurt waffles with taosted pecan maple syrup

Spiced Yogurt Waffles with Toasted-Pecan Maple Syrupmakes about 10 waffles
adapted from Fine Cooking, Issue 108

Steph’s Note:  The number of waffles you get will depend upon the size of your maker.  This recipe halves well, but I like to wrap up extra waffles individually and freeze them.  They can then be re-heated and crisped-up in the toaster or oven.

9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 cups plain full-fat or low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
3 Tbs. vegetable oil; more for the waffle iron
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

-Heat the oven to 200°F and heat a waffle iron, preferably a Belgian waffle iron. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, milk, egg yolks, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

-In a medium bowl, with a wire whisk or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.

-With a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture until just combined (the batter should be a little lumpy). Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until just incorporated.

-Brush the waffle iron with a little vegetable oil. Working in batches, cook the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions until crisp and golden. Set the waffles directly on the oven rack to keep warm. Do not stack them.

-Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, warm the maple syrup over medium heat. Stir in the pecans and keep warm.

-Serve the waffles with the syrup.

Apple Waffles

April 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 10 Comments

apple waffle

I am finally starting to see a few leafy green things (look out ramps and asparagus!) at the Greenmarket, but where the heck are the fruity things?  Yeah, rhubarb, you may technically be veg, but I’m talking about you.  It’s still nothing but the same sad apples I’ve been seeing for the past six months…which of course I bought last week.  And because they tasted like apples from six months ago, they sat in the fridge for another week, until a feeling of guilt swept over me and I had to think of ways to use them up.

R’s mum gave us a waffle iron for Christmas.  A great present (it makes two at a  time!), but I’ve no place to put it in our little kitchen, so it lives in its box in the back of the coat closet.  Most of the time it’s out of sight, out of mind, but once in a while I like to pry the iron from its styrofoam protectors and switch-up the pancake routine.  Why the heck not make apple waffles?

I didn’t have it so together that morning that I was able to make waffles and saute apples to go on top…instead I simply poured a little cider and a little maple syrup into a sauce pan, and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.  Voila…cider-maple syrup atop a golden spiced apple waffle.  Perfect for spring– hehe.

Apple Waffles– makes about six 6.5″ round waffles
from a recipe in Waffles: From Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan

Steph’s note: The recipe halves wonderfully if you don’t need six.  You can also individually freeze any extra waffles for later breakfasts.

3 T unsalted butter
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
2 t double-acting baking powder
1 t cinnamon
¼ t allspice
pinch of nutmeg
¼ c sugar
¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ c milk
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 medium-sized apple, peeled and grated
maple syrup, or applesauce, and butter, for serving

-Preheat waffle iron. If you want to hold the waffles until serving time, preheat your oven to 200°F.

-Melt the butter; reserve. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and sugars (make sure the brown sugar is free of lumps). In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, whisking until they are just combined. Fold in the grated apple and melted butter.

-Lightly butter or spray the grids of your iron, if needed. Brush or spray the grids again only if subsequent waffles stick.

-Spoon out ½ cup of batter, (or amount recommended by your waffler’s manufacturer) onto the hot iron. Spread it over the grids with a metal spatula or wooden spoon. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp.  They are soft, so you may have to gently peel them off the iron with a fork and spatula.

-Serve immediately with suggested toppings, or keep the finished waffles, in a single layer, on a rack in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.

Winter Buckwheat Pancakes

February 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 16 Comments

winter buckwheat pancakes

Yesterday was the messiest, snowiest, slushiest day New York City has seen all winter.  A yucky day outside makes for the perfect day to hibernate inside (luckily, I usually have Wednesdays off from work)…and the perfect day to make homemade pancakes!  Ummm….have I told you that I love pancakes?  I may have mentioned it a few times, right? 

I’ve been noticing a lot of buckwheaty recipes lately, so I picked up a bag of buckwheat flour at the shop the other day.  I put it to quick work in my first batch of buckwheat pancakes.  Normally when I think of buckwheat pancakes, I imagine little yeast-risen blini with caviar or smoked salmon, but these guys are more in-line with buttermilk breakfast pancakes.  The buckwheat flour gives them an earthy color and slighty nutty taste.  These pancakes are hearty and delicious, and just the thing to make you feel cozy on a snowy day.

P.S.:  My friend Lauren and I met up with Dorie Greenspan at her pop-up CookieBar today.   She is nicer that I even imagined her to be, and her cookies are damn good, too!  I was so excited that I forgot to tell her I’d made (and devoured) these pancakes…the recipe is hers!

Winter Buckwheat Pancakes– makes 4 servings (about 12 pancakes)
from a recipe in Pancakes: From Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan

Steph’s note: You can reduce the butter in the recipe (I used 3T) if you’d like.  The recipe halves wonderfully if you are just feeding two.

3/4 c buckwheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 c milk
3/4 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 T unsalted butter, melted
3 T honey
maple syrup or honey and butter, for serving

-In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  In another bowl, thoroughly whisk the milk, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and honey together.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk, stopping when everything is just combined (don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy).  You will have a thick, dark batter that looks as though powdered coffee has been sprinkled through it; as the batter sits, it will become thicker, stickier and more elastic—that is fine.

-Lightly butter, oil or spray your griddle or skillet; preheat over medium heat or, if using an electric griddle, set to 350°F; if you want to hold the pancakes until serving time, preheat your oven to 200°F.

-Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, allowing space for spreading and use a spatula or the back of your spoon to lightly press the batter into rounds.  When the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the tops are speckled with bubbles that pop and stay open, flip the pancakes over with a wide spatula and cook until the other sides are brown.

-Serve immediately with suggested toppings, or keep the finished pancakes in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.

Fresh Corn Pancakes

August 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 21 Comments

fresh corn pancakes

I usually have three days off from work each week (ahh, the luxury!), and you can bet that on one of those mornings I will be making pancakes.  I do love them so, and as much as I like to go out to eat, when it comes to pancakes, homemade rules.  I have a go-to buttermilk recipe that is the standard (and I will share with you one day soon), but I keep my eyes peeled for something different every once and awhile.  You know, no need to be boring, even if you are still in your PJs.

A recipe for fresh corn pancakes the July issue of Gourmet was whispering to me from the pages.  It didn’t have to say much, though– the corn is so good and sweet right now, that I felt like this was kind of time-sensitive.  I rushed to make them the first time, and have whipped them up two more times since!  Pureed corn gives them an overall sunshine-yellow tint, and whole kernels are little bursts of sweetness.  Even though I drastically reduced the butter when I made them, they browned gorgeously.

Apparently, you can serve these pancakes with salsa and sour cream for a savory take, but I’ll have mine drenched in maple syrup!

Fresh Corn Pancakes– makes 4 servings (about 12 pancakes)
from a recipe in Gourmet (July 2009)

Note: You can reduce the butter in the recipe (I used 2T) if you’d like.

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 to 4 ears corn
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

-Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

-Cut enough kernels from cobs to measure 2 cups. Using back of a knife, scrape pulp from cobs and transfer to a blender with milk and 1/2 cup corn. Purée until smooth, then strain through a sieve into another medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in eggs, oil, and butter.

-Add to flour mixture with remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and whisk until just combined.

-Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then lightly brush with oil.

-Working in batches, pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute more. (Reduce heat if pancakes brown too quickly.) Lightly oil griddle between batches if necessary.

-Drizzle warm maple syrup on the pancakes for breakfast or serve them as a side dish with salsa and sour cream.

Oatmeal-Raspberry Pancakes

February 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 32 Comments

oatmeal-raspberry pancakes

Did you know that this Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, a.k.a. Pancake Day?  Thought I’d post this tonight in case anyone is interested in celebrating with me!  To be honest, most Tuesdays are Pancake Day in this apartment.  As anyone else in the food business will understand, the work schedule can be a bit weird.  My days off are right smack in the middle of a “normal” workweek.  I don’t mind so much…while everyone else is off to the grind, I get a luxurious sleep-in, and exactly what I want for breakfast. 

This recipe for Oatmeal-Raspberry Pancakes comes from Sunset Magazine, but I actually saw these beauties first on Joy the Baker last year.  As soon as I saw Joy’s post, I thought, “That’s brilliant!”  Pancakes and oatmeal are my two favorite breakfast foods…I most often enjoy them separately, but a combination sounded positively intriguing.  You might think oatmeal would make the cakes heavy and gunky, but they’re actually fluffy and high.  I’ve made these a few times now…half a recipe gives two generous portions.

If you’re tired of the maple syrup thing, serve these with a berry coulis instead.  I never tire of the maple syrup thing, and here I gently heated my syrup and tossed in a handful of frozen raspberries, just as I turned off the heat.  As the berries thawed in the warm syrup, they gave off their lovely pink color.

Want pancakes but don’t feel like these?  Check out the Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes I made awhile back!

Oatmeal-Raspberry Pancakes– makes about 12 pancakes
adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine (May 2002)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen (but not thawed) raspberries
oil or butter for the pan or griddle

-In a bowl, mix oats and buttermilk.  Let stand for 15-30 minutes.

-Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

-In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, and vanilla to blend. Stir in flour and oat mixtures just until evenly moistened, then gently stir in raspberries.  Let the batter sit while you prepare your griddle or pan.

-Place a griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat (350°F).  When hot, coat lightly with oil or butter and adjust heat to maintain temperature.  Pour batter in 1/2-cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes.  Turn with a wide spatula and brown other sides, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.  Coat pan or griddle with more oil or butter as necessary to cook remaining pancakes.

-Serve the pancakes as cooked, or keep them warm in a single layer on baking sheets in a 200°F oven for up to 15 minutes.  Stack and serve with berry coulis or syrup.

Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes

September 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes & waffles | 14 Comments

Bill's ricotta hotcakes

Pancakes, hotcakes, flapjacks, griddlecakes…whatever you’re callin’ ’em, I’m lovin’ ’em!  Without a doubt, they are my favorite breakfast.  In theory, I relish the idea of ordering pancakes in a café: letting someone else do the work for me while I rub my eyes and sip cappuccino.  It’s not so much the cooking itself, but the thought of all that washing up afterwards (and in the morning!) that bores me to tears.  In practice, though, I make them at home quite often, because the restaurant ones are so often heavy, dense and disappointing.

Of course, if you look around enough, you can find restaurant pancake excellence, and in Sydney my gold star goes to Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes.  There are three bills restaurants here in the Big Smoke and, although I’m partial to the Woollahra branch, they all serve the same delicious hotcakes.  So light, thanks to the creamy ricotta and meringue folded into the batter, they are like little puddingy, syrup-drenched souffles.  Luckily, Bill doesn’t keep his recipes secret, and since I have his cookbook bills Sydney Food, I’ll be able to make these myself when I am no longer living such a short drive from pancake bliss.

If you have an Italian or gourmet store that sells fresh ricotta in the deli case, do yourself a favor and buy a little tub of that.  I hadn’t tried fresh ricotta myself until a few months ago, and couldn’t believe the taste and texture–so much better than the prepacked, mass produced stuff.  And, at least where I normally shop (at Norton St. Grocer, but I see it all over the place), it’s less expensive and I can just buy what I need.  Low fat is what I get, and it works great here.

Bill's ricotta hotcakes

I made half of the recipe below, and it turned out four small-to-medium cakes each (there are two of us).  It looked like I had a big plate, but all I was left with was this…

Bill's ricotta hotcakes

Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes– serves 4-5
adapted from bills Sydney Food by Bill Granger

Note: Hotcake batter can be stored for up to 24 hours, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

1 1/3 c ricotta
3/4 c milk
4 eggs, separated
1 c AP flour
1 t baking powder
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
a pinch of salt
butter for the pan or griddle

-Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and combine.

-Sift the flour, baking powder and salt (and cinnamon, if using) into a bowl.  Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.

-Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.  With a large metal spoon, fold the meringue through batter in two batches.

-Heat a large non-stick frying pan, cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Lightly grease with butter (I like to lightly spray mine first, then butter) and drop two tablespoons of batter per hotcake.  Don’t cook more than three per batch.  Cook over a low to medium heat for two minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides.  Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.

-Transfer to a plate.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

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