Chestnut + Ricotta Pancakes with Quick Clementine Jam
If your house is anything like mine, the fruit bowl heaves with clementines. I can’t get enough of them. This quick compote is a good way to use any lingerers. I add a pinch of saffron for its sunshine colour and warming flavour, but a couple of cardamom pods or a pinch of cinnamon would work as well. This is half compote, half marmalade and is wonderful served alongside some roughly chopped nuts – or even chestnuts, if you have any left – atop the golden ricotta pancakes.
Serves 4 (makes about 8 pancakes)
For the citrus compote:
About 300g of any citrus (about 6 clementines, 1 large grapefruit or 3 small oranges)
2 tbsp honey
A pinch of saffron (optional)
For the pancakes:
250g ricotta cheese
1 tbsp baking powder
A good pinch of salt
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
200ml milk (I use almond milk)
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Grated zest of ½ an orange or 1 clementine
Butter or coconut oil, for frying
Put the ricotta into a sieve and leave it over a bowl for 10 minutes or so, to allow the excess liquid to drain off.
Meanwhile, make the citrus compote by peeling the fruits and removing any large pieces of pith.
Put the flesh into a pan with the honey and the saffron, if you are using it. Cook slowly for about 10 minutes until you have a loose, jammy consistency.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks with the milk in a jug. Add to the flour mixture a little at a time and gently beat until smooth. Fold in the chestnuts then the lemon and orange zest.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, then add the sugar and whisk until you have stiff meringue-like peaks.
Using a spatula or metal spoon, gently fold half the egg whites into the flour and egg mixture. Now fold in the ricotta, then the rest of the egg whites. You should have a light and fluffy batter.
Put a large nonstick frying pan on a low heat and add a tiny bit of butter or coconut oil. Working in batches, add about half a ladleful of the batter to the pan for each pancake. Cook the batter until the bottom is golden and the edges are cooked. Once bubbles have risen to the top of the pancake, flip it and cook on the other side for a minute. Once each one is done, keep your pancakes in a warm oven while you cook the rest.
Stack the pancakes high on your plate and serve with the clementine marmalade spooned over the top.
IMAGE: Issy Croker