Gwenyth Paltrow has this quality that I can’t describe that drives me bananas! I don’t know why? She must be really nice, although I have to question her decision to name one of her children Apple and insist he(?) subsist on a macrobiotic diet for 2 years but her kid, her decision. I’m only bringing her up because of the 1998 film, Sliding Doors. Where there are two Helens, one that catches her train and stays with her obnoxious, cheating boyfriend and the other who misses her train and as a result starts a new career and meets a wonderful caring man.
A few years back I had an opportunity to work with Anna Hansen. She was in the preliminary stages of The Modern Pantry in Clerknwell, London. Instead, I was offered a promotion at the deli I was working at and jumped at that chance. Anna went on to open up The Modern Pantry to rave reviews!
I always wonder how my life would have turned out had I caught the Anna train? I really love her food- it’s my kind of food. Full of texture, color and unexpected surprises – pleasant ones! I used to really enjoy watching her in the kitchen, she is incredibly intuitive and laid back. In the moments before she served up the food, I would look at the counter top and think “OMG! Where is the food??!!!” Then seemingly out of thin air it would begin to materialize, plate after plate of gorgeous original food. She’s a wizard that Anna!
I opened up my August issue of Delicious magazine and there was Anna, hand on hip with a cheeky smile proffering a hand full of recipes – a sneak peak at the book that is coming soon. I was so excited for her! “Look, that’s Anna!” I squealed jabbing the photo of her and telling anyone who would listen. I ear-marked the Ricotta pancakes I wanted to try and instead of forgetting about it, like I usually do, I made it for breakfast on Saturday.
Before you embark on this recipe you should be warned, this is a chef’s recipe for pancakes, so expect a lot of dishes. My count; 3 bowls, 1 frying pan, 2 trays! Have your coffee before hand, so you don’t forget to melt your butter before hand or rush and dump your eggs whole into the batter instead of separating them. Don’t be put off by that because this is a delicious recipe! The pancakes are light and tangy from the cheese, in fact if Quark strudel were reincarnated as a pancake – this is what it would taste like. I enjoyed them so much, that every time I walked past the oven, I would pick one up and eat it on it’s own – no butter, no grapes, no maple syrup, not something you can do with a regular pancake.
And the roasted grapes are sublime. I am planning on making those grapes any chance I get and having them with Quark, yogurt, porridge, game – they are too good (especially when they are still warm and they explode in your mouth)!
I made half the recipe because it was only hubby, little L and I that were eating. I changed the method of oven cooking recommended in the recipe because my pancakes just didn’t cook, even after 10 minutes at 140ºC. Instead I recommend you brown them on both sides in a frying pan on the stove top, then transfer them to a tray in the oven to finish off cooking for about 5-10 minutes. For the exact recipe from Delicious magazine click here.
Ricotta Buttermilk Pancakes with Pomegranate Molasses Roast Grapes – Anna Hansen
- 200g red seedless grapes
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
For the pancakes
- 75g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 15g caster sugar
- 2 large free-range eggs, separated
- 90ml buttermilk
- 30g melted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 185g ricotta
- 125g crème fraîche (or yogurt) to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan). Put the grapes in a roasting tin just large enough to hold them. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses, then sprinkle over the sugar and roast for 15-20 minutes. The grapes should just be beginning to break down. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their juices.
2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk and melted butter and lightly mix into the dry ingredients.
3. Carefully fold in the ricotta, taking care not to break it up too much. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then, using a metal spoon, carefully fold them into the batter a third at a time.
4. Heat a little butter in a large ovenproof frying pan, then add 4 dollops (about 2 tbsp for each pancake) of the batter, spaced apart. When lightly brown on the underside, flip them over to color the other side. Then transfer them to a tray and finish them off in the oven (5-10 minutes). Set aside and keep warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
5. To serve, place 1-2 pancakes on each plate, spoon over the roast grapes and add a dollop of crème fraîche on the side