I like to prescribe to the 80/20 theory of healthy eating. It’s not precise, but it works for me. Most of the time, I try to eat fresh food, made from scratch, with fruit and vegetables and grains involved where possible. However, there are some foods I love which don’t fit into that mould – dishes covered in cheese or chocolate, baked goods and desserts drizzled in cream and custard. They have their place, too, they just need to be consumed a little less frequently. Once or twice a week, rather than everyday.
However, just because those things make it into the 20% bracket, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be the very best they can be. This isn’t the space for dirty takeaways and those £1 packets of doughnuts from the supermarket, although they do sometimes sneak in. If anything, because they are less frequent, those treats should be the very best they can be. You should make them work harder for you, since you don’t get to eat them all the time.
Which is where these pancakes come in. Fluffy, light pancakes with a sharp lemony flavour. Warm berries with a little hint of vanilla. A dollop of yoghurt or creme fraiche. Put down those store-bought pancakes that you microwave or pop in the toaster. These are worth the extra effort, and they deserve a place in that 20% part of your life.
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- zest of 1 lemon
- 25g melted butter
- 65g plain flour
- natural yoghurt or creme fraiche, to serve
- 2 handfuls frozen berries (I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp. golden caster sugar
- Beat together the ricotta, sugar and egg yolks until smooth.
- Stir in the lemon zest and melted butter and fold in the flour until you have a thick batter.
- Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. This will take a minute or two with an electric whisk, and a little longer with a hand whisk. Gently fold into the batter until combined, being careful not to knock too much air out.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan; depending on the size of your pan, you can probably cook two or three at once but be sure to leave room between them so they can spread without sticking together.
- Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Serve warm with berries and yoghurt or creme fraiche.
- Whilst the pancakes are cooking, place the frozen berries, vanilla extract, lemon juice and caster sugar into a small saucepan over a medium heat.
- Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the berries have softened completely and begun to create a sauce. Remove from the heat and serve warm.