Pancakes, hands-down the easiest breakfast I can come up with – and I don’t know why, but for some reason, I always associate pancakes with weekend breakfast…? (Is it just me who feels that?) Every time I make pancakes, I feel that I am going to be just ‘chilling’ the whole day. 😀
But every now and then, I would like to kick it up a notch (just slightly 😉 ). For those times, it’s ricotta pancakes to the rescue; and whatever fruit is in season. Since I saw tons of mandarin from Morocco in the supermarket the other day (Yep, they are always good 🙂 ), I just had to make this combo of ‘Orange & Mandarin Ricotta Pancakes.’ Orange is a no-brainer for me. It’s one of those fruits that we always have on hand. 🙂
I use the zest and juice of the orange for the pancake batter, while the mandarin is for the syrup. I think this approach works best since the zest of the orange is more fragrant (or potent? 🙂 ) than the mandarin, so you still know it’s there when it’s mixed with the batter. The mandarin goes perfectly for syrup, because it’s not in-your-face-orangey-flavor (and that’s how I prefer it 🙂 ).
When you try this recipe, I suggest you start cooking the mandarin syrup first – and just leave it on medium-low heat (stirring every now and then), until it thickens. You can prepare the batter and start cooking the pancakes at the same time as the syrup is thickening. But of course, you can also prepare the syrup earlier – you just have to heat it up again once the pancakes are ready, since they would surely solidify once it gets cold.
- 250 grams ricotta
- 250 ml fresh mandarin juice (about 4 pieces; do NOT remove the pulps with the juice)
- 150 grams sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 piece large orange, zest and juice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tbsp butter, for greasing the pan (only if you are NOT using a non-stick pan)
Drain any water from the ricotta by resting it in a strainer or cheese cloth. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine mandarin juice with 150 grams of sugar and honey. Bring to a slow boil and lower the heat, while stirring occasionally. Keep stirring every now and then, until it thickens.
Combine orange zest with 2 tbsp of sugar and rub them all together until the fragrance has been released. Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, orange juice, milk and vanilla extract. Mix with a spatula.
Combine the dry ingredients (i.e. flour, salt and baking powder) with the ricotta mix. Mix with a spatula, making sure there are no lumps. Note that this batter is thicker than the normal pancake batter.
Beat the egg whites to a stiff peak and gently fold it in the ricotta pancake batter.
Heat up a pan and rub a bit of butter to prevent the pancake from sticking (only if you are NOT using a non-stick pan). Start cooking the pancakes. I normally use ¼ cup as a ladle when cooking pancakes. It helps in keeping them all in the same size. Once you see bubbles popping on top, it is time to turn your pancakes to the other side. Make sure the heat is on medium-low to avoid burning your pancakes.
By the time all the pancakes are ready, the syrup should be ready as well. Take the mandarin syrup off the heat and pour it on the pancakes.