Ricotta Pancakes with Banana-Walnut Syrup

I decided to mix up the normal breakfast of cereal on Saturday morning, and went with pancakes. The standard pancakes that come out of a boxed mix are unattractive, and I had heard about ricotta pancakes. After searching the internet for some recipes, this one stood out and I thought it would come out well.

I picked up the necessary ingredients I did not have (ricotta cheese and bananas) last night at the grocery store. Only to determine this morning that I was out of milk. Oh well, another trip to the store is in order. The original recipe has been modified, as I did not have pecans and I did not want to buy them. I did have 4 pounds of walnuts, so they made an excellent alternative.

The recipe is not all that difficult, and the pancakes ended up coming out very light and fluffy. I made 16 pancakes, but if they were made slightly smaller you could get 2 dozen out of a single batch.

Recipe modified from Mario Batali

Ingredients:

For the Banana-Pecan Syrup:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 small bananas, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1 cup cane or maple syrup

For the Ricotta Pancakes:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 ounces ricotta, well drained (1/2 cup)
Butter or vegetable oil

Recipe:

For the Banana-Pecan Syrup:

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and saute for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the bananas and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the syrup and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the syrup is hot and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside in a warm place.

For the Ricotta Pancakes:

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together onto waxed paper or a plate. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or whisk until stiff but not dry. Beat the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta together in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula.

Warm a serving platter in a 200 degree F oven.

Heat a nonstick flat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Grease with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface, then flip the pancakes over using a large wide spatula. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to the warm platter.

Serve immediately or hold in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes. Serve the pancakes on heated plates topped with the syrup.

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