During February, I start to get the itch. While it’s still snowing in many parts of the country, the Central Valley in California transitions into spring. And I really shouldn’t even say transition. It’s more you wake up one morning and there are blooms on the trees and flowers everywhere. And so, I start impatiently waiting for spring produce.
Truth is though, we still have some time. And so, I reflect back into the winter produce and start to look for more creative ways to use what is still lingering around. Recently I made a squash puree and listed out a handful of recipes I thought about making. In the end, I really feel there’s nothing quite like a solid breakfast, especially if ricotta pancakes are involved.
Kabocha, pumpkin’s cool cousin.
During the cooler months, I go squash happy. Anytime I’m at the store I think to myself, ‘Yes, I need a couple squash.’ Then, I get home and realize I already had a few. And so, I start to get really creative with how I use them.
Kabocha is one of my favorites. It’s flavor is sweet while the puree is similar in consistency to pumpkin. All of of this makes it the perfect squash to use in recipes one might traditionally use pumpkin. Of course, if you don’t want to spend the time cooking the kabocha or can’t find one, use pumpkin puree instead.
Ricotta pancakes: like eating clouds
When I first started making a non-squash version of these pancakes, I couldn’t get over how light and pillowy the texture is. The ricotta really adds the perfect amount of moisture while the stiff egg whites lighten the batter.
I will say, if you’re unsure of spending that much effort to make the batter, it’s really worth it. These aren’t my every weekend pancakes but it’s definitely a nice treat once in awhile.
Finally, flour. You could easily use traditional all purpose or even whole wheat pastry. However, I urge you to check out einkorn. I’ve been in love with einkorn for years. The flavor brings the most warm and nutty flavor to the mix. I also find it’s one of the easier flours to try in place of all purpose (especially if you find Jovial’s all-purpose einkorn flour.)
Fluffy einkorn pancakes loaded with ricotta and kabocha squash puree- a perfect slow weekend breakfast or brunch.
½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup kabocha squash puree
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for cooking
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup einkorn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the ricotta and squash puree in a large bowl and stir to combine. Measure in the whole milk, maple syrup, butter, and vanilla extract and stir to combine again. Finally, crack and separate the eggs, adding the yolks into the ricotta mixture.
- Add in the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Finally, take the egg whites and using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Take about ¼ of the egg whites and stir that into the batter to lighten then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Heat a skillet or griddle over low to medium-low heat and grease with butter or oil if need be. When skillet is hot (if you flick water onto the skillet, it should sizzle), take a scant ¼ cup of batter and pour onto skillet. Let cook for 2-3 minutes (until the pancakes begins to bubble slightly). Flip and let cook for another 1-2 minutes until pancake is cooked through.
- Serve with your choice of toppings such as butter, candied nuts, and/or maple syrup.
Keywords: ricotta pancakes, kabocha pancakes