This is recipe truly born of over eagerness at the farmers market. In the early months of summer I find that my eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach, my desire for all that produce greater than time reasonably allows. I buy in vast quantities – I want everything and lots of it. I put quite a few things by, test and experiment with recipes, prepare meals for myself and snack on bits and pieces in the kitchen. But I still seem to have too much. Thus it was that I found myself with another basket of blackberries and an abundance of gorgeous local goat cheese, having already made jam, marinated cheese and gorged myself in the process. So I wanted to get creative with my market finds.
These pancakes are fluffy and soft like classic ricotta pancakes, their inspiration, but with that tangy hit of goat cheese. The pancakes themselves are not overly sweet, so I like to douse them in sweet, fruity syrup. They would also be delicious with Sorghum Peaches, or a dollop of Buttermilk Whipped Cream on top of all that syrup. And the syrup is perfect on ice cream.
Getting the hang of flipping pancakes takes a little patience (it is not a skill I have completely mastered) but is well worth the try. Besides, I still stand by my conviction that I like my homemade goods to look homemade, not perfect from the bakery or pancake house. I want all the credit!
Goat Cheese Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup
For the Blackberry Syrup
3 cups fresh blackberries
¾ cups white sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
For the Pancakes:
8 ounces soft goat cheese
3 eggs, separated
¾ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
For the Syrup:
Place all the ingredients in a high-sided, large saucepan and stir to coat the berries. Bring to the boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the berries have released their juices. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a potato masher or a sturdy wooden spoon, mash the berries. Cook for a further 10 – 20 minutes until the syrup has thickened and reduced. This will be a little thinner than maple syrup.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Set a wire-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the syrup into it. Use a sturdy spatula or spoon to press the solids through the strainer to extract as much syrup and pulp as possible, but no seeds. Use a separate spoon (not the one that has seeds on it!) to occasionally scrape the bottom of the strainer into the bowl so you can push more pulp through. Discard the solids.
The syrup will keep for up to a week in an airtight jar in the fridge.
Makes about ¾ cup
For the Pancakes:
Crumble the coat cheese into fine pieces onto the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and beat until creamy. It’s okay if there are a few lumps of goat cheese. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and beat until combined. The mixture will be thick.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until white and foamy. You can do this by hand, they do not need to be peaked, just foamy. Add the whites to the batter and beat until combined.
To cook the pancakes, I find it best to use a non-stick griddle or large frying pan slicked with a thin coat of cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium high heat, and when it is radiating heat, drop mounds of about 2 Tablespoons into the pan. Cook until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute, then use a thin spatula to flip them over and cook the other side until golden brown and puffed. Depending in the size of your pan, I’d do no more than 2 or 3 at a time.
To keep the pancakes warm, place on a plate loosely covered with foil as you use up all the batter. Serve warm, generously drizzled with Blackberry Syrup.
Makes about 12 – 15 pancakes