Posted by: Anja | March 19, 2010

Breakfast art

Pancakes, the German version, was the first dish I ever completely mastered. I started cooking when I moved out of my parents apartment and lived in my own flat because of my studies. At that point I could make microwave food and heat up some pizzas, I didn’t know anything about real cooking. So making pancakes was my first step into the world of cooking and now I’m an addict for good food. Still, pancakes have remained my favorite dish and my comfort food. Making pancakes never becomes dull, because they can be used in so many ways so that I can always experiment.

I have one recipe for sweet pancakes, one for neutral ones and one for the Italian version with herbs that you can put into a soup. Today I discovered my fourth recipe, a combination of ricotta and lemon combined in a pancake served with apples. Though I had some problems during the execution, the result was divine. But I’m not objective on the pancake topic. I guess, you have to judge for yourself.

Ricotta Lemon Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
idea adapted from smitten kitchen

apples:
2 apples, preferably Granny Smith
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon lemon juice

pancakes:
2 large eggs, separated
150g ricotta
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
60g flour
pinch of salt
butter

First step: Peel the apples and slice them. Heat a large pan to medium heat and let the butter melt. Throw in the apple slices and let them cook for about five minutes. Stir from time to time.

Second step: While the apples sauté, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks for the pancakes. Whisk until combined, then add the flour and whisk again.

Third step: When the apples have spent their first minutes in the pan, add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Let them cook for another 5 to 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice and stir again. Change the heat to low, it should keep the apples warm but don’t cook them.

Fourth step: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff. When stiff, add a pinch of salt. Whisk 1/4th of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture and spoon in the rest delicately. Heat a second pan to medium-high heat, add butter and start to make the pancakes. Turn them, when they’re brown on the bottom side. Before every new pancake, melt some butter in the pan. Adjust the heat if necessary, for example if the pancakes brown too fast. Serve together with the apples.

As already mentioned, I am a sucker for pancakes though these gave me some troubles when putting the pancake dough into the pan. The dough just was too solid. Normally you have a batch that is rather liquid and which you can pour into the pan, but that wasn’t the case here, which was kind of a challenge. I tried to distribute the dough in the pan evenly using my spoon and even a crêpes distributor tool that I happen to own. It didn’t help. I think the next time I’ll make these pancakes I have to really take care that I use either large eggs or stretch the dough with a bit of milk. Else it’s just really complicated to make something resembling pancakes. As you can see in the first picture, mine looked a bit weird. But they tasted good and that’s what counts most for me.

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