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perfect sundays and ricotta hotcakes

May 25, 2010

I have a love-hate relationship with Sundays in Switzerland.  I love that it’s quiet and people just enjoy doing nothing.  Look out our apartment window on a Sunday and all you’ll see are people wandering aimlessly along the lake.  Old. Young. Human. Canine.  You name it, they’re out there.  I hate it because there’s no choice BUT to walk around aimlessly.  You see, everything is closed.  Businesses close their doors on Sunday, so errand running is out of the question.  This all sounds lovely until you realize that you’re out of eggs and what’s a Sunday without eggs?!

This Sunday though fell into the “love” category.  The sun was shining, the eggs were stocked and we had neither need nor desire to run a single errand.  It’s days like these when I wonder why anyone would want to live anywhere else in the world.  Days that begin with Bill Granger’s ridiculously wonderful ricotta hotcakes (recipe below), followed by a short hike complete with scenic picnic lunch and end with a chicken roasted on the grill are enough to make me wonder who I slept with to get here. Joking, Mr. KC, joking.

If you come to Switzerland in the summertime–and you should–please make sure to take advantage of any one of the many “wanderweg” or hiking paths.  You get to hang out with cows, get amazing views, check out flying kites and  if you’re lucky pass a self serve butcher or farmer.  You just pop in, take a look in the fridge or cupboard and take what you want.  Each item is priced and you drop your money (exact change only) into the “Kasse”–basically a box with a hole in the top–and carry on.  We love picking up freshly pressed apple ciders from these in the fall and the next time around, may even pick up some meat to throw on the grill.  Talk about locally sourced.

ricotta hotcakes with honey-vanilla butter
from Bill’s Sydney Food

KC note: Instead of pads of honeycomb butter, which are great, but harder to spread on pancakes, I kept with my tradition of using melted butter to which I added honey and a dash of vanilla.  The butter makes these pancakes.  Make sure not to skip out.  Also, this is the original recipe (except for the butter), I cut this in half for two people and it was more than enough.

ingredients

pancakes

  • 1 1/3 cups ricotta
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • icing sugar (optional)

butter

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla


directions

  1. Place butter, honey and vanilla in a small sauce pan, heat over low to melt butter and stir to evenly incorporate.
  2. Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined (I just sifted directly into bowl with ricotta mixture.
  4. Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. (I cheat and use an electric mixer because I don’t believe in exercise before breakfast)
  5. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.
  6. Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than 2-3/batch).
  7. Cook over a low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides.
  8. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.
  9. Transfer to plate and quickly assemble the other ingredients.
  10. Stack three hotcakes on plate and brush each with honey butter using a pastry brush.
  11. Dust with icing sugar.
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