One recent comment from a Herbivore reader is that everything on the blog is so healthy.
I have to admit I do not eat super healthy all the time; what is the fun in that!?! You have to have that extra fat and calories sometimes, and in my opinion, Sunday brunch is the perfect time to be a bit naughty. With that in mind, may I present my take on Jerry James Stone’s Ricotta Stuffed Sweet Potato Pancakes.
Being in New Zealand, I used orange kumara instead of sweet potato and the fruit compote topping idea came from a dinner time discussion I had with a friend about easy ways to use up apples that need eating. Click here for my Spiced Fruit Compote recipe.
Earlier this week, I was having the discussion about kumara vs sweet potato and if they are the same thing. Kumara is the Maori name for sweet potato; as far as I can tell they are both from the same plant family, but they are actually a different variation. Some people claim that kumara are sweeter and more flavorful, and if my memory of sweet potato is correct than kumara does have a slightly different distinct flavor of its own.
The fresh ricotta came from yesterday’s visit to the La Cigale French Market, where a lovely Italian couple sells amazing Mozerella, Scamorza, and Ricotta cheeses that do not contain rennet. This is an enzyme produced in a cow’s stomach and used in cheese production to coagulate the milk causing it to separate into curds and whey. Many vegetables have enzyme properties that do the same thing, and vegetable rennet is becoming more and more popular in modern cheese production.
These pancakes, fresh squeezed juice, and couple bottles of bubbles made an incredibly decadent boozey brunch. We certainly needed to take a bit of a walk after eating, but it was the perfect chance to enjoy another sunny winter day.
Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes with Spiced Fruit Compote
MAKES: approx. 12 pancakes
- 1 large orange kumara or sweet potato, peeled
- 1 ⅓ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup ricotta
- warmed maple syrup
- spiced fruit compote
- pecans, dry roasted and chopped
Peel the kumara or sweet potato, wrap it in tinfoil and bake it for about an hour at 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C in a pre-heated oven; you want it to be very tender.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and then add the brown sugar.
Crack and separate the two eggs. Whisk the egg yolks and the milk together so they are just combined.
Remove the kumara or sweet potato from the oven when it’s done and puree it either with a ricer, a stick blender, a potato masher, a fork, or any other kitchen implement that will get the job done. Add the puree to the dry mixture, mixing it well. It should create what looks like a bright orange smooth dough (made me wonder if it would be good for gnocchi).
Work in the egg and milk mixture, until completely combined. Using a whisk to make sure there are no floury lumps.
Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and stiff. Fold the
egg whites into the mixture, but do not overly mix it.
In a buttered skillet, over a medium heat, ladle in the sweet potato pancake mixture. When bubbles form on the top and the edges look crispy, flip the cakes.
While these are cooking, whisk the ricotta cheese in a small bowl, giving it a creamier texture and making it easier to spread.
When the pancakes are done, layer them with ricotta and top with maple syrup, spiced fruit compote, and chopped pecans.