Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt Recipe

Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt Recipe - I FIRST DISCOVERED syrniki—fried quark or farmer’s-cheese pancakes—because my mother-in-law makes them for my kids for breakfast when they stay at her house. She’d pack up leftovers for us, but they weren’t the same the next day. It wasn’t until I had them straight from the frying pan at a Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach, N.Y.—all faintly crisped edges, and with an almost oozing center, dusted with icing sugar, and served with a fruit compote—that I understood why there were five comments on my site and two e-mails in a single year requesting a recipe.
It’s blasphemous, but I ditched the farmer’s cheese first, mostly because it’s not as easy to find, and replaced it with ricotta. From there, I swapped the raisins with currants, added sea salt and orange zest, and finished them with honey, a flavor combination I fell in love with at Olive et Gourmando, a café in Montreal. Syrniki by way of Canada sounds a little odd, I know, but there was no going back once we made them like this.
I’ve found that there are two common “types” of syrniki: taller ones that form perfect rounds and look almost like crumpets cooking in a frying pan; and the ones that are less perfectly shaped, with an almost loose center and a tendency to collapse after they cool. I am, in syrniki and in most foods, on Team Ugly Food. The latter, to me, are much more plush and unforgettable, and they reheat beautifully … you know, should they last long enough to provide leftovers.

Makes 16 pancakes
Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt Recipe

Ingredients for Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt Recipe

  • 100 grams (¾ cup) plain flour, plus 45 grams (⅓ cup) for rolling and more for sprinkling the tray
  • 235 grams (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) distilled white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 45 grams (⅓ cup) dried currants (optional)
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Icing sugar, to finish
  • Honey, gently warmed
  • Flaked sea salt, to finish

Directions for Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt Recipe

  1. Sprinkle a large tray lightly with flour. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, zest, and vinegar. In a small bowl, combine 100 grams flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Stir into the wet mixture until thoroughly combined, then mix in the currants, if desired.
  2. Place the remaining 45 grams flour in a medium-sized wide-ish bowl. Drop large spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons each) of the batter into the flour, and shimmy the bowl around to get the dough mostly coated in flour. Pick up a glob of dough gently with floured hands, and toss it back and forth between your palms to form it loosely into a ball. The dough will be very, very soft. Place the ball on a floured baking tray; then repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil. Don’t skimp—most will drain off or stay in the pan. Shaking off the excess flour, drop 3 to 4 balls of pancake batter into the heated oil a couple inches apart, pressing each down to form a slightly flattened disc. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until golden underneath, 1½ to 2 minutes. Flip each pancake, and cook until golden brown on the second side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining balls of pancake batter, adding more oil if needed.
  4. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate, and dust with icing sugar. Drizzle honey over the pancakes. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt. The pancakes are definitely the most magical right after they’re cooked, when they’re still soft in the center. They will flatten somewhat but still taste delicious after they’ve rested for a while.

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