June 04, 2011

Citrus ricotta pancakes with mint sugar and vanilla balsamic

Winter in Sydney can be quite pleasant. I mean really, the climate is mild - you still get a good 10 hours of sunlight during the day and it can be quite warm. This morning was a great example of this. I went for an early morning walk to the beach and did yoga on the sand. I wasn't cold and all I could hear was the sound of the waves. This is why I love living in Sydney.

Another reason to love winter in Australia is the abundance of citrus fruit in season. The Australian Navel oranges, Meyer lemons, limes and mandarins are all juicy and sweet. I have been getting my daily doze of vitamin C from all of these beautiful fruits.

These citrus-ricotta pancakes are perfect weekend food. I served these with mandarins, Meyer lemon and orange slices, mint sugar and delicious vanilla-cinnamon balsamic I bought from the markets. It is a perfect companion for the pancakes, but if you can't find it you can substitute with balsamic and honey or try making your own vanilla balsamic using pure vanilla paste and a tiny pinch of ground cinnamon. This is a great way to kick start the weekend!

Citrus ricotta pancakes with mint sugar and vanilla balsamic
(makes 6 small pancakes)

2 large free-range eggs
200g smooth ricotta (low-fat)
80g whole spelt flour
juice of 1 Meyer lemon
juice of 1/2 Navel orange
1 tablespoon fruity extra-virgin olive oil
olive oil, for frying

2 big handfuls of fresh mint
3-4 tablespoons raw, natural vanilla sugar

1 orange, sliced
1 Meyer lemon, sliced
2 mandarins, sliced
vanilla-cinnamon balsamic, to serve

1. Whisk the eggs and ricotta until smooth. Whisk in the flour. Add in the lemon and orange juice and the oil, then whisk until smooth. 

2. Brush a small frying pan with olive oil. Fry the pancakes on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Stack the pancakes on a serving plate.

3. Pound the fresh mint and the sugar in a mortar until it resembles a smooth paste. 

4. Serve the pancakes with the sliced citrus fruit (you could use grapefruit as well), mint sugar and balsamic.