Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes

You guys, it's my birthday today. I don't want to make a big deal of it because I actually despise birthdays, as they are a reminder that I am aging. Entering my "late 20s" is kind of depressing. The feeling of losing my youth is not fantastic. However, I am proud of what I have accomplished so far in my life. I managed to make it through high school unscathed. I graduated from an awesome university (I freaking love Cornell so much; I'm borderline Andy Bernard's twin sister). I have a great job. I paid off my student loans! I bought myself a car. I redesigned and renovated our kitchen. I have an awesome family and an adorable dog. My friends are superb. I've traveled to really cool places and will continue to do so. And, of course, I have my blogs. I love this food one dearly and my travel one is a winner (at least in my eyes). Every year that has passed has been a good one, so I have already assumed that the coming year will be great too. I don't know, is it time to just 'get over it?' "It" meaning the fear of getting old. Ugh, no, I can't.

Anyway, in the spirit of celebrating and also in the spirit of falling victim to cans of pumpkin puree (that are on sale), I've got a dessert-like breakfast to share this morning. Or is it a breakfast-like dessert?
Ingredients [serves 2]:
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup ricotta (homemade if you got it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
butter for cooking the pancakes
+ syrup
+ powdered sugar

Melt some butter to start and then set it aside to cool. I actually like to let it melt halfway and then set it on the countertop to finish melting off of the stove. This way, it isn't sizzling hot.
In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks - yolks only, please - vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, ricotta, cinnamon, and the cooled melted butter and whisk to combine.
Pour in the milk and stir that in too.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.
Chuck it all into a sifter and sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Gently mix the dry ingredients in. Do not over mix! Lumps are okay.
Grab the reserved egg whites and whip to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter.
I like to do this in two installments. First, I take a little scoop of egg whites and roughly fold them in, just to lighten the thick batter.
Then, I plop in the rest and fold it all in.
By the way, this is what your sink may look like after these pumpcake making shenanigans. This recipe does require quite a few dishes, but I think it's worth it. Plus, you've got a dishwasher, haven't you? Even if you don't have a mechanical one, you must have some sort of lackey (spouse, sibling, servant) you can pass the task off onto. If you don't, you're not living life to the fullest.
Butter up your skillet - I used a cast iron griddle pan - and cook up some pancakes! I like to use a measuring cup to scoop out the batter so that the pancakes are all a similar size.
The batter is somewhat thick, so you will have to swirl it around a bit to make a flat cake.
Once you have a lovely stack of pancakes, dust liberally with powdered sugar, add a dab of butter, and drizzle with plenty of maple syrup.
These are a delightfully fluffy, lightly pumpkin scented and spiced, and all-in-all a perfectly indulgent breakfast. Might I suggest whipping some up this Thursday? You know, before all of the madness of Thanksgiving preparations take over, why not whip up a batch of pancakes? Get yourself in a zen mode before you turn into a frenzied chef/guest (whichever roll you assume on Turkey Day).
Go ahead and have seconds. You'll need the energy.
Here's the recipe page:

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