Sometimes you try a dish at a restaurant and that you just can’t forget. This is that. It was out of whim that my boyfriend and I decided to go for a drive and visit a café out of town. We had our standard brunch dish, you know, avocado toast or eggs benny, whatever it was! But if we hadn’t been in need for copious amounts of food, we would’ve missed this: a 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 café was beautifully decorated in a farmhouse style, the weather was wet and cold and the pancakes were a warm and comforting dish at the table.

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This whole blog post is dedicated to my attempt to create something similar to those flavours and bring back that same feeling, but of course, Christmas-ifying it! ‘Tis the season for cozy dishes!

When I think of Christmas, cardamom comes to mind pretty quickly. During my family Christmas festivities, it’s pretty typical for us to enjoy a nice hot mug of masala chai after our meal and cardamom is a key ingredient in our traditional masala chai recipe. It’s used in a lot of fall and winter baking recipes and when combined with other traditional ingredients such as rosemary in the custard or the cranberry topping in this recipe, these pancakes become a truly special Christmas morning treat. 

Ricotta Pancakes with Rosemary-Cardamom Custard

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: cardamom, christmas, cranberry, custard, holiday, pancakes, ricotta

Ingredients

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

For the ricotta pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup store-bought cranberry preserves or homemade
  • maple syrup, to serve
  • powdered sugar, to serve

Instructions

For the rosemary-cardamom custard

  • 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 ricotta pancakes

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking soda
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta cheese, egg yolks, and vanilla until well combined
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add egg whites and whip on medium speed until stiff
  • Combine dry ingredients with the ricotta mixture and stir until just combined. Carefully fold in egg whites, ensuring not to over-mix.
  • 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 until brown.
  • Continue cooking the pancakes until no batter remains.
  • Add a few 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 2-3 tbsp of the cranberry preserves on top of the pancake stack, drizzle a bit of maple syrup and sift a bit of powdered sugar over top to serve. Leave extra cranberry preserves, maple syrup and rosemary custard at the table.

 

 

Posted by:Sanah Ahsan

Sanah is a self-proclaimed foodie, avid baker and a serious music junkie with a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Guelph-Humber. Her work involves writing for various entertainment and fashion blogs such as On The Scene Network and Toronto Men's Fashion Week.

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