An Alternative to Traditional Pancakes…
It’s pancake day soon! Now, I’ve started a tradition to trying out an alternative pancake recipe each year. This year, I decided to give these Middle Eastern pancakes a go, or Atayef as they are called.
I stumbled on this recipe over on Pinterest and knew I had to try it out. Now I love our traditional pancakes, but these are incredible. Little bite-sized pancakes filled with goodness. They are, however, tricky to make. But only if you are like me and don’t understand what crepe-like means. I’m use to big fluffy pancakes.
Ricotta Stuffed Middle Eastern Pancakes.
The previous recipe called for some alternative cheese, but I love ricotta cheese. It’s light, delicious with some added lemon zest to it. The perfect alternative to stuff these Middle Eastern pancakes with. For a drizzle, I had to go with passionfruit. It’s that beautiful balance of sweet and tart that compliments the ricotta cheese nicely. Finishing it off with some pistachios and berries and you’ve got yourself some delicious pancakes to enjoy this Shrove Tuesday.
What’s great about these Middle Eastern pancakes, is that you can make them in advance and freeze them. If you get up to the point before you deep-fry them (you read this correctly, this recipe is magic), you can freeze them and cook them later. Currently, my freezer is filled with a portion of these for a quick snack or elegant weekend brunch.
Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Pancakes with Passionfruit Syrup
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 passionfruit
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups milk
- butter or oil for frying
- ½ cup roasted pistachios, chopped
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small sauce pan, combine the honey and butter. Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat to low, simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and lavender. Take the passionfruit and slice it in half. Scoop out the flesh and stir it into the syrup. Pour the syrup into a jar. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, milk and water. Stir until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Make the filling. Combine the ricotta, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl, mix until combined.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease with butter or cooking spray.
- Once the griddle is hot, add 1 tablespoon of batter at a time, onto the griddle. Shape the batter into 3-inch-wide circle pancake, similar to a thin crepe. Cook on one side only, when bubbles just begin to appear on the pancakes surface, remove the pancake.
- Lay the pancakes cooked side down on a baking sheet and keep them covered with a clean towel while you make the rest of the pancakes. Try to work quickly, as you do not want the pancakes to dry out.
- Place about 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture in the uncooked center of each pancake. Fold the pancake in half and pinch the sides firmly closed with your fingertips. Fill the pancakes as quickly as possible so they do not dry out.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil so that there is about 1/2 inch of oil or butter in the skillet. Add the pancakes and fry for 2-3 minutes per sides or until lightly golden and crisp.
- Coat the fried pancakes in the passionfruit syrup. Dip the point of each pancake into the pistachio nuts. Serve warm with fresh fruit and any remaining syrup.