Monday, 20 May 2013

My Last Fig!

Fritella di Ricotta & Polenta con Fichi Secche e Miele di Agrumi
Ricotta & Cornmeal Pancake with Dried Fig & Citrus-Blossom Honey

So I was in the mood for pancakes this morning, or "a pancake", as I always try to be careful
what and how much I eat as you know. Frantically searching for something other than apple or banana that I could add to it as a fruity ingredient, I stumbled upon my last dried fig in the fridge- and my problem was solved.

I decided to make a polenta-based pancake, a little firmer, a little more rustic, and great as a base to enjoy the rich, chewy fig slices with. And the honey... well let me just say (much as I hate to), OMG! Thanks to my sister Maria who got me this for Christmas, I am (for the moment) the owner of one of the most awesome, Sicilian, artisan citrus-blossom honey's in the world! 
Thanks sis! That's what made this simple little pancake so extra special!

This was another of my single-serving 1 egg affairs. And it was the same routine as ever today- the egg white got whisked up nice and firm and fluffy and all of the fun stuff took place with the egg yolk. I added 2 tablespoons of fresh ricotta and 2 tablespoons of polenta to it, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. This made for a rather thick paste, but once added to the fluffy egg white it soon became smoother and more fluid... and ready for baking!

Yes indeed, baking, because although I made this in a frying pan. I did finish it off under the broiler in order to be able to decorate it this way. You can obviously stir the fig pieces into the batter from the get-go... but I just wanted to make it a little prettier for you!

I cut the fig into thin slices and kept them handy, but started the pancake off first by smearing a little clarified butter around my smallest frying pan, then spooning in the mixture over a moderate heat. After a couple of minutes, the base of the pancake had set and it slid around freely in the pan- this was the right time to add the fig slices. And isn't it amazing how many slices you can get from one of those things!!! Well, that is because they get squashed-down flat when they string them up to dry- but it makes it nice and easy for us to get a lot of use from one fruit! On the figs went and off into the oven, at 350°F for just 2-3 minutes... that was all it took!

The lovely honey I have is the real thing- not something to squeeze out of a plastic bottle. So what I did was, I set my pancake onto my serving plate and scooped a teaspoon of honey into the still-hot frying pan to melt- clever huh? Whilst that was happening, I added a scoop of fresh ricotta cheese to the pancake and then drizzled the honey over both... delicious!

This is a little different to your regular pancakes- you might fancy a change sometime... and it could be something a little like this- why now?

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