It’s snowing in London and it’s the first Sunday I’ve had all year to enjoy a proper Sunday brunch – Hallelujah! Sadly it’s not quite enough snow to bust out the cross-country skis from the attic which is a pity, but still, London looks and feels very fresh and wintery today.
These little ricotta hotcakes are inspired by Australian chef and food writer Bill Granger who makes a mean hotcake. The ricotta is a delicious one from Laverstoke Park Farm made with buffalo milk which Niamh Shields of Eat Like A Girl recommended and I’ve completely fallen in love with (the ricotta I mean, not Niamh. Sorry hon!)
With a high quotient of ricotta these hotcakes are a high-protein, low(ish) carb treat for Sunday morning, they’re a cinch to make and endlessly versatile. I’ve been tinkering with gluten-free recipes for a while now so decided to add this to the “free-from” portfolio, using gluten-free flour in this recipe. You can of course adapt the hotcakes to your own needs – next time I’m thinking of using rye flour for a change. Finely crushed oats would also be delicious I imagine, but use what you’ve got and what you like.
Strawberry freezer jam you ask? Well it’s a long-standing tradition in the Johansen family. We made it every summer when I was growing up and used plump, ripe strawberries grown on my grandparents’ farm on the west coast of Norway. The flavour of this simple jam is much cleaner I find than cooked strawberry jam and is more akin to strawberry compote I guess, rather than a true sticky jam. The strawberry freezer jam used for brunch today was made last summer using a glut of crimson English strawberries that came from top London grocer Andreas of Andreas Veg fame, and the jam is a welcome reminder of summer on such a Nordic winter’s day. The recipe is in my next book Scandilicious Baking so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait til it’s out to get your mitts on that one! Use any good fruit jam or compote, and I like the cool contrast of Greek yoghurt but you can of course leave that out altogether.
Here’s the recipe, hope you’ll give these a go. I’m off for a walk in the snow!
Ricotta Hotcakes (serves 2)
- 200g tub ricotta (I used Laverstoke Park’s buffalo version)
- 100ml whole milk
- 2 medium eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 70g gluten-free flour (I used Dove’s Farm self-raising gluten-free flour)
- 2 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp oil for frying hotcakes in
You will need a pancake or crêpe pan, or a flat skillet for frying the hotcakes. Preheat the oven to 100 C.
Start by placing the ricotta in a medium bowl. Mash it up with a fork or a spatula if it’s a solid one, then add the whole milk, mash a little more, and finally add the two egg yolks (reserve the whites for whisking). Mash and swirl the mixture really well so you don’t get any chunks of ricotta bursting out of a hotcake.
Next add the vanilla, then add the flour and honey/maple syrup and finally the salt. Give it another good mash and swirl. It should look quite thick and gloopy at this stage.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Take a spoonful of this and add to the ricotta mixture to slightly loosen it. The fold in the remainder of the egg white, carefully swirling your spoon or spatula in figure-of-eight movements so you don’t knock out all the air in the mixture. Once all the egg white is folded in, stop. It’s easy to over-do this step so be gentle.
Pop the tablespoonful of oil in your pancake pan or skillet and place this over a medium heat. The first hotcake will be a little greasy and a bit of a dud but don’t fret, they improve wit each one you fry. Depending on how large your pan is, place 2-3 dollops of hotcake mixture in once the pan is hot, with enough space so they don’t merge into each other. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side and then stack each hotcake on a plate in the oven to keep warm while you finish the rest.
Serve while warm, with fruit compote of your choice and Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.