As I mentioned a little earlier January is birthday month for a few of us and birthdays are always celebrated. This year we decided on a Birthday Brunch. Our spread was pancakes, bacon, eggs, bagels and lox, a hashbrown casserole, fresh fruit salad and frittelli, a few mimosas and, of course, birthday cake. The weather did not cooperate. It was a little cold and dreary outside, but Charlie did manage to cook the bacon, pancakes and eggs outside on our big Brookstone griddle. Inside with Mimosas and hot coffee and lots of family the temperature was supreme and it was a perfectly wonderful day for a celebration.
Pancakes or Pancake Ripiene
back a fond memory of days on my Grandmother’s Farm/Pensione
in New Jersey. There, eggs, milk and butter were plentiful along
with a variety of many other staples. It was a working farm with
rows and rows or corn, tomatoes, etc. Of course, there was also
a variety of farm animals, too, like bunnies, pigs, ducks,
chickens, even a goat named Billy; many
that I learned not to name! After all, it was a farm!
My Grandmother would make these occasionally and it was always a big treat for us. It’s not labor intensive, but it is a little time consuming, nonetheless she made it look effortless. They would be filled with her homemade prune preserves and she could whip them up in a snap. We used to call them Cuscini, meaning pillows. They are very similar to Danish Ebelskiver and probably something with a different name in many countries. But I still call them Cuscini. These are often a part of our family brunch.
1 ¾ CUPS FLOUR
1 TSP BAKING SODA
1 TSP BAKING POWDER
2 TBS GRANULATED SUGAR
PINCH OF SALT
1 SMALL LEMON – zested
3 EGG YOLKS
5 EGG WHITES – room temp
1 2/3 CUPS BUTTERMILK
5 TBS BUTTER – unsalted, melted
PRESERVES – your favorite for filling
1 CUP RICOTTA – drained
1 TSP VANILLA
In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl lightly whisk egg yolks, add vanilla, whisk in buttermilk and then the ricotta.
Whisk this mixture into the flour mixture until all is well combined but still a little lumpy. In a separate bowl beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form but not dry. Gently stir the beaten whites into the batter in 3 additions. Do not over mix.
Let sit for at least an hour or cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Bring to almost room temperature before using.
Let your Frittelle pan heat on low for about ½ hour and then brush each hollow with melted butter. Using a measuring spoon place ½ tablespoon in each little well, top with a demi-tasse teaspoon of your favorite (not too liquidy) preserves and then top with ½ tsp of more batter to cover. Cook for a few minutes (3-5 depending on heat) until the bottoms are golden brown and then using skewers* turn them over to cook the other side. Repeat until all the batter is finished, buttering the wells with butter every other time or as necessary. Transfer to a plate as they become cooked and keep warm in a low oven.
This recipe should make about 35 pancakes. Serve fairly soon either plain or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
NOTE: Instead of toothpicks or skewers, I have better luck turning them over with 2 small seafood forks. I purchased my pan in Italy but here you can find one very similar called an ebelskiver pan.