Saturday, September 17, 2011

Teff Grain and Ricotta Pancakes with Apple Topping

Suddenly fall is in the air. And the produce offerings at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday, from SLO Farm, Sweetwater Farm, and Songbird Farm, will be abundant:
  • apples: Gravenstein, Sansa, Akane
  • tomatoes: heirlooms, cherries, and San Marzano romas!
  • cucumbers, zucchini, beets, eggplants, peppers, string beans
  • greens, parsley, basil, garlic
  • eggs, honey, pickles
You can also expect fresh and smoked salmon from The Salmon People and locally grown grains and beans from the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project.

With the morning chill in the air, I decided to experiment with pancakes made with this teff grain from Camas Country MillTeff is a fine, protein-rich grain that can be cooked like polentaI combined two Mark Bittman recipes for polenta pancakes and ricotta pancakes

To accompany them, I cooked up our last remaining sansa apple with butter and cinnamon.

The pancakes turned out to be rich and fluffy with an appealing texture and were gobbled up by my initially skeptical daughter, who was not a fan of the results of an earlier experiment with wheatberry pancakes. We can't wait for tomorrow's market to replenish our apple supply.

Teff Grain and Ricotta Pancakes with Apple Topping
makes about 24 pancakes

pancake batter
1/4 cup teff grain
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1/2 cup ricotta
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour (I used white, but one could use teff flour to makes these gluten-free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp brown sugar

apple topping
2 apples, cored and chopped into ~1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turbinado sugar

1. Cook 1/4 cup teff grain in 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt, simmering for about 20 minutes and stirring occasionally until the water is all absorbed. You could do this the evening before and mix it with the ricotta and buttermilk to prevent it from hardening.

2. Prepare the apple topping. Warm a small skillet over medium low heat. Melt the butter, and stir in the chopped apples and cinnamon. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and fragrant. Stir in the sugar and cook for a minute longer. Reserve.

3. Mix together the ricotta, egg yokes, buttermilk, and cooked teff.

4. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and brown sugar.

5. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

6. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are just incorporated. Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

7. Heat a griddle and when it is warm, grease with a little butter. Use a soup spoon to spoon the batter into pancakes. When permanent bubbles form around the edge and the color of the batter lightens on top, flip the pancakes and cooked them for a couple of minutes on the second side. 

8. Serve the pancakes hot off the griddle with the apple topping and a scant dribble of maple syrup.

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