I had the most delicious ricotta pancakes at a brunch restaurant recently. Had I not been ravenous that evening and in the mood for another round of food, I would’ve missed out on a delicious plate of fluffy ricotta pancakes on top of a bed of rosemary custard, topped with berry preserves and delicately decorated with bee pollen and edible flowers.
The flavours were really pretty simple but it felt like such a special dish- I mean, bee pollen?
So, this whole blog post is dedicated to my attempt to create something similar and bring those flavours back onto my palette but, of course, Christmas-ifying it! Because, ’tis the season to be extra!
When I think of Christmas, cardamom comes to mind pretty quickly. During my family Christmas festivities, it’s usually pretty typical for us to enjoy a nice hot mug of masala chai after our meal and cardamom is a fairly dominant spice in our traditional masala chai recipe. Cardamom is also often used in a lot of Fall and Winter baking recipes and seems like it’s really been a baking trend over the last year (have you seen those chocolate cardamom cookies on Instagram? I still have yet to make those!)
And of course, cranberries seemed like the right fit for this recipe. A traditional element for this unusual twist on Christmas morning pancakes.
The best part of this recipe and probably the most difficult part of this recipe is making the silky, creamy custard. It’s that traditional English style custard or crème anglais, that acts as a silky sauce to drizzle over cakes and other desserts. It’s truly delectable and trust me, it’s easier to make than you would think.
RICOTTA PANCAKES WITH ROSEMARY-CARDAMOM CUSTARD AND CRANBERRY PRESERVES
For the rosemary-cardamom custard
- 1-¼ cup heavy cream
- 1-¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- In a saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture to a simmer and remove from heat
- In a medium, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until well combined.
- Continue whisking the egg mixture as you slowly pour in the hot milk mixture. Be sure not to add the milk too quickly or it will cause the eggs to curdle. Once the milk and egg mixture are well combined, return the custard to the saucepan.
- Add the rosemary and cardamom and cook the custard until it thickens, around 5 minutes. Do not boil. You will know it’s the right consistency when you run your finger along the back of the spoon and the line remains separated.
- Once ready, pour the custard into a separate bowl to stop the cooking process. This can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
For the cranberry preserves*
- 1 (12 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Let it come to a slow boil and then let simmer until it reaches desire thickness
- Pour into a heat-safe container and cool with the lid off at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator and use for a variety of other dishes such as biscuits, scones, side for meat and poultry, cookies, etc.
*Recipe from The Local Palate/Rebekah Turshen
For the ricotta pancakes*
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) of salted butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking soda
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta cheese, eggs, and vanilla until well combined
- Combine dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. of butter to the hot skillet and swirl the pan to coat the surface with butter
- Add the pancake batter ⅓-¼ cup at a time to the hot skillet (I like to use a regular ice cream scoop which is roughly ⅓ cup to make this process easier and cleaner)
- Cook until the tops are bubbly and edges are crispy and brown, around 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add a couple of spoonfuls of rosemary-cardamom custard to a large plate
- Transfer the pancakes to your plate, gently resting the pancakes on the rosemary custard. Stack as many as you please!
- Add 1-2 tbsp of the cranberry preserves and drizzle a bit of maple syrup to serve.
*Recipe from the Magnolia Table/Joanna Gaines
Written by Sanah Ahsan