This recipe for honey whole wheat ricotta pancakes stacked with strawberries and drizzled with a honey rhubarb syrup makes an easy breakfast or breakfast for dinner.
I fully realize that in some areas of the country strawberries signify spring. In my area of the country, strawberry season started just two days ago. Here strawberries blush with the very beginning of summer. Last year they were a few weeks early, this year late, but most years they appear right after school lets out for summer. Children run off the buses throwing folders filled with end-of-the-year papers in the air, welcoming the freedom that summer brings, and strawberries rejoice right along with them, their excitement building until they are simply red in the face with excitement.
These two things happen in tandem. They belong together. This year the strawberries were late.
I have now assigned blame to the strawberries for all the start-of-summer happenings around here. Double sets of stitches were acquired: Blame the strawberries for their neglect. A storm hits, trees fall, and the power goes out for days: I’m looking at you, under-ripe strawberry. Our car’s starter refuses to do its job and turn over: Strawberry, really? I purchase a gift for my sister’s bridal shower and then three hours later completely space and show up and hour late: Your tardiness is rubbing off, strawberry.
Good news. The strawberries are ripe now.
Warming milk in the refrigerator was cooked over gas burners and strained into ricotta cheese. Clearly this means we’re eating pancakes for dinner, complete with strawberries, and the whole affair is serving as a restart to summer.
Rhubarb and honey together are nature’s Sour Patch Kid. Rhubarb’s acrid self tames the honey’s ability to be cloying, and instead the marriage brings the right amount of tart yet sweet to pour over pancakes stacked with finally-ripe strawberries. Take that, summer.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon extract of choice (e.g. vanilla, almond) or 1 tablespoon citrus zest
Preheat a flat griddle or a cast iron pan. In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta and the eggs until smooth. Stir in the flour, honey, and the extract/zest just until mixed. The batter will still be slightly lumpy.
Scoop the batter onto the hot griddle, greasing it if necessary depending on the type of griddle, using 3-4 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes until golden brown on the second side.
Remove the pancakes from the griddle. Serve with butter and syrup or as suggested below.
For Strawberry Stacks with Rhubarb Syrup:
4 ricotta pancakes
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup honey rhubarb syrup
Place sliced strawberries between layers of pancakes. Pour rhubarb syrup over. Serve.
Makes 10-12 pancakes
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup honey
Place the water, rhubarb, and the honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine. Heat until the mixture boils, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid reduces by about one-third.
Strain the rhubarb from the mixture. This rhubarb “paste” can be stored in the refrigerator and used as an ice cream topping or mixed into baked goods. Keep the rhubarb syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use over pancakes, ice cream, mixed with club soda for a spritzer, or in cocktails.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups rhubarb syrup