Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ricotta Spelt Pancakes

Sunday morning was the last day of our first family vacation (we were technically home at that point), and even though we often make a big breakfast on Sunday mornings (like this one), I decided I wanted to do something extra special. Try something new. Most importantly, I wanted G and Q to be able to eat whatever I made. I looked for some inspiration online and decided to make ricotta pancakes. To make them baby-friendly, I opted to use spelt flour instead of all-purpose.

The result? The lightest, moistest, most flavorful pancakes ever. To gussy them up for S and me, I topped them with a homemade lemon thyme syrup and blackberries from our bushes. The lads just had them plain, but loved them any way. Q scarfed two in two minutes flat (mmmm-mmmming the entire time, as he is wont to do (that kid is a serious foodie already!)) and would have eaten more if we hadn't already polished them off!

Ricotta Spelt Pancakes, aka Babies' 1st Pancakes
serves 4 (or, in our case, 2 piggish adults and 2 babies)

1 cup organic whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup water (you could use milk to make them richer, but I used water since the lads haven't had milk yet)
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp sunflower oil

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, water and egg yolks. Add the flour, baking powder, and sugar, stirring to make a thick batter.
2. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are white and foamy, but still loose. Gently fold the beaten whites into the batter. (Note: you could easily skip this step if you aren't yet ready to give your baby egg whites. The result would simply be a denser, less fluffy pancake.)
3. Heat the oil in a skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. Using a tablespoon, drop batter onto the hot pan. Cook pancakes approximately 2 minutes per side, or until they are a golden brown. I ended up getting about 24 half-dollar size pancakes (yep...we ate them all!!!).

Lemon Thyme Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
5 sprigs of thyme
1 lemon, zested

1. Add water, sugar, whole thyme sprigs, and zest of the lemon to a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
2. Bring mixture to a slow boil, just until sugar is melted.
3. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove thyme and strain lemon zest (if you'd like--I left the zest in because I think it looks pretty!).

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