Here’s a little secret (that’s not really a secret): if you find yourself with excess dairy — think: buttermilk, whey, cultured cream cheese-that-was-supposed-to-be-butter, kefir, yogurt, clabber — make pancakes. And if you have crazy-nuts piles of ricotta? All the better! (I typed “batter” — touché, fingertips.)
These days I’ve been banging out panny-cakes on the regular, thanks to the heaps of dairy clogging up the fridge. Also, it helps that it’s brr-cold: we’re all moving a little slower in the mornings, and I’m there to make them since I don’t go running when it dips into the low 20s. Farmer Boy pancakes are my kids’ favorite, but I’ve switched to ricotta pancakes because, well, that’s what I’ve got. (Used to be, ricotta was an expensive treat; now it’s a by-product that I have to work to use up.) Plus, ricotta pancakes are fast to make, nutritious, high-protein, and versatile, the pancake version of kitchen-sink veggie soup.
First time I served ricotta pancakes, my younger daughter got all upset because there were little bits of ricotta speckling the pancakes, oh horrors. (Never mind that the pancakes were light and fluffy and didn’t taste at all like ricotta.) Next time I made pancakes — Farmer Boy this time — and she asked what kind they were, I said I wasn’t going to tell her because she’d just pitch a fit and I was tired of hearing about it: I made pancakes so eat the damn pancakes, end of story. So she took a pancake and grumpily began eating.
“How are they?” I asked.
“They’re not as good as your regular ones,” she said. “Farmer Boy’s better.”
“Ha! These are Farmer Boy pancakes!” And I danced a happy (to her: irritating) told-you-so jig.
And this, my friends, is why I don’t kowtow to picky eaters.
(I did, however, make one change in order to make the pancakes less offensive, so I guess I am a leedle bit accommodating: I’ve taken to whirling the ricotta in the blender along with the eggs, milk, and fat prior to combining the wets with the dry. This way, no one has any idea there’s ricotta in the batter but the pancakes still have their signature lofty-lightness. AREN’T I SNEAKY.)
I’ve been making these pancakes so regularly that I taped the recipe to the inside of the spice cupboard. They are endlessly adaptable. For part or all of the flour, sub in some whole grain flours like einkorn, whole wheat, cornmeal, chickpea, barley, or rye. In place of some or all of the milk, use a mix of other dairy such as whey, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk. For the fat, use leftover bacon grease, melted butter, coconut oil, sour cream, olive oil, whatever. Or, you can switch into dessert mode and add lemon zest and juice, plus a splash of vanilla. Sky’s the limit!
One more thing. When you go to mix up the batter, double or quadruple the dry ingredients, weigh the total amount in grams, divide by the number of recipes you made, and portion it out accordingly. Next time you want pancakes, there’s your mix. You’re welcome.
Adapted from Cooking Classy.
To watch: Making Ricotta Pancakes on YouTube.
¾ cup ricotta
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon fat
1½ cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Whirl the wet ingredients in a blender until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and stir to combine, taking care not to overmix. Fry on a greased skillet and serve with butter and syrup. A single recipe makes eight large pancakes.
This same time, years previous: how we homeschool: Milva, Samin’s soy-braised beef short ribs, what kind of stove should we buy?, the quotidian (1.26.15), first day of classes, housekeeping, five things, movie night.