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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Italian Meringue

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It occurred to me recently that – considering that rice is a staple on every continent – I don’t think anyone cooks just a handful of rice at a time. I certainly haven’t heard of a special rice-for-one cooking technique. So, most of the time when we cook rice, I’ve got leftovers. And I hate to waste. Over the last couple of years, I’ve become really fascinated by the versatility of rice and how it adds a whole new dimension to a dish when we don’t treat it as a side. I must admit that as this layered delight took shape, it made me think of a Jodetert or a more rustic version of a crêpe cake. Who knows, it might just become a permanent fixture in my dessert repertoire.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Italian Meringue

TIME: 40 minutes | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

for the rice pancakes

250 g (250 ml) Spekko white long grain Rice (cooked)

200 g (312 ml) rice flour

250 ml milk

30 ml ricotta (whipped)

10 ml baking powder

15 ml canola oil

5 ml vanilla extract

5 ml lemon zest

50 g (62ml) white sugar

1 large egg

for the filling

500 g ricotta

30 ml lemon juice

10 ml lemon zest

50 g (62 ml)  white sugar  (optional)

For the Italian meringue

30 ml cold water

125 g (150 ml) caster sugar

2 large egg whites

METHOD

For the rice pancakes

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on a medium speed for 2 minutes or until all the ingredients are combined.

Heat a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat and, once the pan is warm to the touch, ladle the batter into the pan (60ml per pancake). Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown at the bottom and turn the pancake over. Allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

for the filling

In a medium mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Keep the mixture in a bowl in the fridge until the pancakes are ready.

For the Italian meringue

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low heat, once the sugar has melted, turn to medium heat. Do not stir the sugar to prevent it from crystallising.

Use a sugar thermometer to ensure an accurate temperature. Once sugar reaches 116⁰C, start whisking the egg whites in a stand-up mixer on high speed. When sugar reaches 121⁰C remove from heat and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg mixture while still whisking. Once the sugar syrup is incorporated, continue whisking until the mixture is cold.

to finish

Place the pancakes on a plate, layer the ricotta mixture in between the pancakes to create a stack.

Pipe the Italian meringue on the top and use a blowtorch to finish it off. Alternatively dip a spoon in warm water and place dollops of meringue on the pancakes. Can be served with honey for extra sweetness.

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