The Yankee Chef: Another oldie but a goodie

I doubt if anyone remembers griddle cakes from generations ago and I doubt even further that you will find these delightful taste treats in any restaurant. And both are a shame. The precursor of pancakes of today, griddle cakes were simply very thin pancakes that were much crispier and tender than what we enjoy today. A cross between a crepe and a flapjack, I adore the texture and simple taste of these pancakes our ancestors relished many years ago. I have a recipe written by my ancestor, dated from 1840-ish, and she wrote that ".....if you keep greasing with fat back, you will have no problems.....". I have Yanked this recipe in order to keep up with today's palate.

Maple-Ricotta Griddle Cakes

Serve with a side of your favorite jam, jelly preserves, or Sour Apple Glaze to dip each forkful into. I also enjoy wrapping these around some aged ham and Cheddar to snack on or as an appetizer.

4 ounces (1 cup) ricotta cheese 2 tablespoons maple syrup* 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup flour, plus more to knead with Sour Apple Glaze, recipe below

Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer and let dry out for 30 minutes, removing as much of the whey as possible. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, maple syrup, salt and pepper together. Add the flour and mix until a dough is formed. You may need to add a tablespoon more flour at a time to come together, depending on how dry you were able to get the cheese. Remove from bowl onto a floured work surface and knead just until it is combined and forms a ball.

Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness on a floured work surface. With a 3-inch diameter cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles. If you have dough left over, reform and cut more.

Spray or grease a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, shake off excess flour and add as many circles to the pan as you want, cook for 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Turn over and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove, repeat with all griddle cakes.

Sour Apple Glaze

I used some apple jelly I made myself this fall but of course purchased is just as nice. In a small saucepan, add 1/4 cup apple jelly, 1/4 cup orange juice and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Whisk well and warm over medium heat until hot, stirring frequently.

*Honey is a great alternative if you don't have maple syrup on hand.


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