If pancake day tomorrow (aka Shrove Tuesday) isn’t a good enough reason to share Chew Town’s first ever pancake recipe, then I don’t know what is. It also helped that this weekend I went home to Western Australia for our family’s Italian sauce making day, and my two nieces were happy to be pancake testers (before you ask, yes! a very in-depth post on sauce making is headed your way soon).
When deciding on which type of pancake to make, I had to go with what mum had in the house, and as a well stocked Italian kitchen was at my disposal, what better than sweet ricotta and lemon pancakes with fresh figs picked from my dad’s fig trees (it doesn’t get much fresher than that).
Ricotta pancakes really are wonderful things. They are made by combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, then beating egg whites to stiff peaks and folding it through the ricotta mixture. What results is impossibly light and airy pancakes that leave you feeling like you’ve eaten light (even though we all know better).
I’m a fan of keeping it simple so I flavoured the ricotta pancakes with lemon zest and juice then topped the finished pancakes with honey and quarters of impossibly plump fresh figs. You can top these pancakes with any fresh fruit you like though, thanks to the simple pancakes, so go with what looks the freshest and smells the sweetest at your local fruit stall (or in your backyard if you are my parents).
I’m not usually a fan of sweet breakfasts, but I’d do just about anything for these ricotta pancakes, and I think there will be many more sweet breakfasts in my future.
Ricotta and Lemon Pancakes with Fresh Figs
- 1 3/4 cups fresh ricotta
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 eggs, yolk and whites separated
- Butter, for cooking
In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and whisk till well combined. In another bowl, mix together ricotta, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolk till combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir till just combined.
Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form, then place a small amount of the egg white into the ricotta mixture and fold it in. Add the remaining egg white and gently fold through the mixture, being careful not to stir too vigorously or the air will be beaten out of the mixture and your pancakes won't be as light.
Heat a large non stick pan on medium heat and add a small amount of butter to coat the base of the pan. Fill a 1/3 cup measure with mixture and pour into the centre of the pan. Allow to cook for a few minutes until bubbles begin forming on the surface of the batter and the bottom is golden, then flip the pancake using a spatula and cook for another few minutes until the other side is golden. Repeat with all the remaining batter and serve topped with honey and fresh fig quarters.