Summer seems to have arrived in Western Australia. We hit 39 degrees today and it has been hot hot hot.
So what better way to spend the day than cooking in the morning and then an afternoon at the beach. The boys love the sea, they ride and jump the waves, get covered from head to toe and jump back in ready for more. They also bring home more sand that you would think possible. Why do they make children bathers with pockets???? They are just little sand holders!
But that is all by the by as I really want to tell you about these delicious, light and super easy ricotta pancakes. I have saved this recipe for the run up to Christmas because I always associate them with Christmas and they are definitely a recipe that will serve you well over the festive season.
The first time I ever made these was as a starter on Christmas Day 8 years ago. I served them with smoked salmon, sour cream and some peppered king prawns. Yum 🙂
I remember it very clearly as:
a) it involves food and I have that memory (I won't bore you with that one again! Check out my odd memory here.)
b) I was pregnant with Mr 7, who in those days was called Tilda as when I found out I was pregnant he was the size of a grain of rice.
c) my nephew demolished so much smoked salmon each time asking for more "carrot coloured fish" before falling asleep in his highchair.
d) I hardly ate any of them, due to major sickness caused by point b.
These are so light, the ricotta and egg whites make these fluffy but they are still substantial enough to hold a topping. They can be topped with any number of great ingredients. I love them with smoked salmon and sour cream, but they are equally good with some pesto, sun-dried tomato and a bocconcini ball. Or add blue cheese spread and some ripe juicy figs. Or another favourite of mine is to add a horseradish mayonnaise mix and then top with rare roast beef and a slice of gherkin. An even better option, if you are having a party, is to make a big pile and then leave you guests to build their own. Now that is easy, simple and a great talking point.
I have even served these to the boys with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of icing sugar. It was only after I did it I remembered the white pepper in them 😳 but they didn't notice and to be honest I don't think you can tell there is pepper in there. So if you like pepper then you might want to up the quantities.
The preparation for these is pretty minimal and if you have an electric whisk it is a matter of moments. Today I got out my stand mixer for them. Check out my stand mixer. It is so super cool and retro. Now we all know that I adore and long for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but I do love the look of this mixer.
I only acquired it recently. After the fire the school and church rallied around and people donated so much. I was overwhelmed and completely touched by the support and generosity. One family from church were consolidating two houses and had planned a garage sale, so they had a lot of stuff. Wonderful kitchen stuff and they offered me it all. I was like a kid in a sweet shop 🙂 I cannot say thank you enough as everything they gave me meant I was back cooking and back blogging and I felt like life was sort of getting back to normal.
One of the wonderful things they gave me was the stand mixer, it had been his Granny's and his children had used it, that is four generations of cooking and baking. It is a well loved, well used and well looked after piece of equipment. And it still goes. It isn't as powerful as the mixers you get today. But it whipped my eggs up perfectly and I love it. It is so old it is cool 🙂
If you don't have a stand mixer then a hand held electric whisk is just as easy and to be honest I have made these with my balloon whisk and they turned out okay. I will admit I only just got the eggs past the frothy stage and the pancakes were still delicious, just not quite as fluffy.
A quick note about the photos on this post. This was our morning tea this morning, along with some cucumber buttons. How tasty do these pancakes look, topped with hot smoked salmon and a large dollop of caviar. Shall I let you into a secret, I am not that rich 😉 I do not serve my boys caviar for morning tea. This is a great alternative. It is from ikea and it is a seaweed caviar!
It is $3.50 a jar and I think it is delicious. I am sure frequent caviar eaters could tell the difference instantly but I think it is a worthy replacement. And you can happily eat the whole jar and not have to worry about whether you have just spent everything you have saved up to pay the rego!
I serve these at room temperature, so I can prepare them in advance, but they are also delicious whilst they are still warm, so if you are cooking them to eat them straight away, keep them warm on a covered plate in a low oven, whilst you cook up the other batches.
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Ricotta Pancakes with Hot Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream
- 375 g full fat ricotta cheese (get my homemade recipe)
- 190 ml hi-lo milk
- 3 eggs
- 150 g plain flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoon flavourless oil
- 200 g hot smoked salmon
- 150 ml sour cream
- caviar/seaweed alternative (optional garnish)
- Lemon wedges
- Start by separating your eggs. Add the yolks to a mixing bowl and place the white into the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if doing it with a hand held).
- Spoon the ricotta into the egg yolks and start to break it down with a fork. Add the milk and mix well until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and whisk until you have a smooth thick batter.
- Whisk the egg whites until they start to form super soft peaks.
- Fold the egg white mixture into the batter. Use a metal spoon to fold and turn the mixture until all the white is well incorporated.
- Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and spoon in a tablespoons of batter, using the back of the spoon to flatten the mound and make each one a circular(ish) pancake.
- Cook the pancakes over a medium/low heat for about 2 minute and then flip them over and cook for another minute.
- Cook the pancakes in batches adding the remaining oil as needed.
- If you want to serve these warm then keep them on covered plate in a low oven until you have cooked the whole batch.
- Serve dolloped with sour cream, hot smoked salmon and if you want to push the boat out a touch of caviar (or my secret favourite seaweed alternative).