Sunday, August 26, 2012

BBRS Pancakes

     Let me just start by saying I love pancakes. I can, have and will continue to have them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and midnight snack. I love them with blueberries and maple syrup. I love them made with buckwheat flour. I love them with buttermilk and lots of butter. I love making them, flipping them, stacking them one on top another. I love making that first cut and forking up that first three-tiered wedge dripping with co-mingled butter and maple syrup. I. Love. Pancakes.
     I mean come on, who doesn't want cake for breakfast? Do you want cake for breakfast? Yes, please! OK, I'll make them. Them? You mean more then one? Yes, two, three sometimes even four! Four cakes for breakfast?! Yes! I like where this day is going!
    My favorite pancakes these days are blueberry buckwheat ricotta souffle pancakes. Or BBRS. I've adapted this recipe from the back of a bag of Hodgson Mill buckwheat flour. Yes, you've had blueberry pancakes, you've had buckwheat, you've had blueberry buckwheat, you've had blueberry ricotta souffle. But have you had blueberry buckwheat ricotta souffle?? It's a whole different animal and you really should take it for a ride. It's a pancake that's light, fluffy and meaty all at the same time. Grounded in dark grains of buckwheat and borne aloft by ethereal whipped egg white.  Held together with the tang and texture of ricotta cheese and all studded with glorious tart blueberries.
     Yes, you're going to have to get some bowls dirty. Yes, you're going to have to whip egg whites (well, one egg white). Yes, you're going to have to coach these cakes into a flat round shape. Is it worth it! Yes, yes, yes, it is soooo worth it!

Blueberry Buckwheat Ricotta Souffle Pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg separated 
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons melted butter plus more for the pan and even more for the finished pancakes 
2 cups of fresh blueberries, more or less
maple syrup for serving

In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a smaller bowl whisk milk and ricotta, add egg yolk and melted butter and combine. In a third bowl (clean, no grease or your white will not whip up), add egg white and whip by hand or use an electric hand mixer until you achieve soft peaks. Now is a good time to preheat your skillet and grease with a couple of pats of butter. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture and fold gently, do not over mix. Next fold in beaten egg white and gently fold, the mixture will still be a little lumpy but that's OK. Make sure you skillet is hot and depending on the size, spoon out 2 or 3 dollops of batter (about 3 Tablespoons worth). Smooth the batter down to a four inch circle.  Embed 10 or 12 blueberries in each pancake. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook another minute or 2. Repeat until all batter is gone. Serve immediately with more butter and maple syrup. Yields 8 to 10 pancakes.

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