|Ricotta Pancakes with Citrus Almond Butter
This batter also makes a great waffle. The pancakes are best when cooked the same day the batter is made, but it can be held overnight with good results.
8 eggs separated
2 cups ricotta cheese
2/3 cups crème fraîche or sour cream
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 LB butter-at room temperature
To make the citrus almond butter: Toast the almonds in a 350 F oven until light brown. Set aside. Grate the zest of one orange on to a piece of plastic wrap and set aside. Using a zester, zest the remaining orange into thin strips and set aside. Juice both oranges; you'll only need a quarter cup, so drink the rest. In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice and place over medium high heat. While cooking the caramel, wipe the insides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in cold water. Cook the caramel to a dark brown. Remove from the heat and add the almonds. Pour the caramel onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or onto a piece of wax paper. Cool completely. Break the caramel into pieces small enough to fit into a food processor, and then grind to a fine texture. Add the butter and grated orange zest and pulse to combine. Store the butter in a covered container until ready to serve. The butter can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.
To make the pancakes: Combine the egg yolks, ricotta and creme fraiche or sour cream in a large bowl. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Stir in the milk. Whip the egg whites to a soft peak and fold into the batter.
Cook the pancakes on a hot griddle until golden brown on both sides. Serve with the citrus almond butter and garnish with the strips of orange zest. - Chef Benjamin Davis, The Passionate Palate Cooking School, Park Meadows North