And I’ll bet you were wondering, “What could I make for Christmas Morning?”
Here you go.
We love pancakes.
Especially my little Flock (my children that is). In fact I probably make them about three times a week. Juliette is my little Piggy Pancake.
If You Give a Pig a Pancake was her favorite book when she was tiny. We read it so much it fell apart.
To keep things from getting too boring I have had to “spice things up a bit”. You’ll never hear them complain of the monotony but I need a bit more pizzazz every now and again.
Mornings are intense for us on the farm. There are animal chores, music lessons, morning school and when we sit down for breakfast we are hungry. The children love it when I make pancakes and so to keep things interesting I have tried to add variety to my basic recipe. These pancakes are so good. The ricotta gives a depth to their flavor and the Granny Smith stay crisp throughout the cooking process.
Apple Ricotta Pancakes
But first let’s talk cheese…
So… I’ve been making my own ricotta cheese. Truth be told, it doesn’t last long when I make it. I’ve become rather obsessed with it and can mow down a whole container with a little salad dressing and some cut up apple chunks.
Granny Smith apples.
There is something about Granny Smith apples and ricotta.
Sorry, I’m getting off track.
Get your your milk girls and let’s make something wonderful. Come on… this is cheesemaking for dummies. No, I don’t think you’re a dummy! I swear, if I can do it then you can do it. You can’t mess this one up. I promise!
You will need:
1 gallon whole cows milk (Got goats or sheep? That will work too! My milk is raw, yours doesn’t have to be)
Yeap, this is a whole milk recipe but ricotta can be made from whey too. More on that someday…
1 teaspoon citric acid, mixed into ½ cup cool water
2-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt to taste
2 Large bowls
Quality cheesecloth (here is the kind I use)
Food thermometer (I use an old junkie one from the grocery store but here is a nicer one!)
Stir the citric acid/water mixture into your milk. Mixing it well. While stirring, SLOWLY heat your milk to 195-205 degrees. Turn off the heat and leave it alone for one hour. No stirring! After one hour put the bowl in your sink and set a cheesecloth lined colander on top. Pour the curds into the cheesecloth lined colander and drain for 30-45 minutes depending how how dry of a ricotta cheese you want. You can also warp up the ends of your cheesecloth and hang it to drain. Save the remaining whey in the bowl for your chickens, ugh birds… I mean your “Ladies” as I call mine. Chickens benefit greatly from drinking whey. OR you can use it to make bread. I have been using it for my “Homebread” recipe and it just ads another layer to the flavor.
Very good. Very.
Place the curds in the other bowl and add the cream and salt. Add cream according to the texture you want your ricotta to have. This cheese lasts about a week.
And now — before you eat it all. Let’s make some Apple Ricotta Pancakes. (This makes enough for my gang of 7 so you will have some left-overs to pop in the fridge).
You will need:
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of ricotta cheese
2 cups of milk
2-3 Granny Smith apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
(I grade my nutmeg with my zester. I have a couple of them in my drawers but this is by far the nicest for nutmegs, citrus zest, etc.)
Peel the apples if you’d like. I love the texture of apple skin. Mix all ingredients together except the ricotta. When everything has been mixed gently fold in the ricotta cheese.
Bust out that frying pan and get to flippin’! I fry my pancakes in either bacon grease or coconut oil. Bacon grease gives a flavor that reminds me of my Gramma’s pancakes and coconut oil (lots) creates some serious crispy edges. And I’m all about the crispy edge.
Serve with piping hot coffee and real maple syrup.
Bet you can’t wait ’til breakfast!
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