I once heard someone saying that bananas were made to become bread –or muffins. On this, I couldn’t agree more.
Sometimes, however, I wake up late (oh lovely weekends!) and don’t have any banana bread or muffins waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Busy week days didn’t give me time even for baking something small…Or for grocery shopping. No muesli in the jar, no yogurt…All I have is a fridge with a couple bananas, some half-eaten ricotta, and a couple eggs. I needed an idea for something quick and delicious and possibly featuring bananas. They were really ripe…Really really.
I found out that bananas were created to top pancakes, too. They really were. I haven’t proved myself that they are good into the pancake batter, yet. But on top, omg, they are delicious.
Let me tell you about this banana-maple glaze. Vermont grade A pure maple syrup plus good (fair trade) bananas simply cooked for a few minutes in a hot skillet. Easy. This is just the glaze.
For the pancake batter, I used local fresh ricotta cheese. Ricotta traditionally comes from the South of Italy, and is made either with cow, water buffalo, sheep or goat milk. It is usually made with the whey but it can also be made with whole milk. Piedmont (where I live) is known for other kind of cheeses: robiola, castelmagno, raschera etc. Often times, though, cheesemakers use their whey to make ricotta as well. I am sure that some ricotta cheeses made in the South trutly taste different. But for my daily food consumption and recipes I always try to go local. I found a lovely ricotta made close-by and I will stick to this as much as I can.
Back to the pancakes. Ricotta plus kefir plus whole wheat flour –these the core ingredients. They go very well together, and they fill your belly with something warm, good and not too heavy. You really feel full of energies, you really want to go for a walk, a bike ride, a swim. I went grocery shopping, instead, because it’s the best time to go: when you ate and you are happy. Never go with empty belly –it’s dangerous. Plus, my refrigerator was really empty. I went on foot, though.
Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Maple Topping (serves 4)
For the pancake batter
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup raw can sugar
- 4 free-range eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cup kefir
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
For the topping
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
Extra maple syrup, for servingButter or ghee for greasing the pan
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except egg whites. Beat egg whites until firm peaks form, then incorporate them to the pancake batter with gentle movements from the botton to the top. Refrigerate the mixture up to 15 minutes.
In the meantime, warm maple syrup in a medium-size skillet over medium fire. Stir in sliced bananas and cook for two or three minutes, until caramelized.
Heat a medium skillet over medium fire and melt a small piece of butter or ghee. Poor 2 T of pancake batter at a time. Cook on one side, and when bubbles start to form on the surface, flip it with a spatula. Cook on the other side until light brown. Repeat until you finish your ingredients.
Top with the banana-maple glaze and serve with extra maple syrup.
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