Pancakes with maple syrup pears and spiced ricotta

250 ml   (1 cup) maple syrup
Thinly   peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1   vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3   firm ripe pears, such as William, quartered and cored
1   quantity pancakes (see below)
Spiced ricotta
400 gm   ricotta
60 ml   (¼ cup) maple syrup
½ tsp   ground cinnamon


1 Combine maple syrup, rind, juice, vanilla bean and seeds in a large deep-sided frying pan and bring to the simmer over medium heat. Add pear and cook, turning pear occasionally, until tender, glazed and syrupy (10-12 minutes). Keep warm.
2 Meanwhile, for spiced ricotta, process ingredients in a food processor until smooth and combined. Serve dolloped on top of pancakes with maple-syrup pears.

180 gm   butter, coarsely chopped
450 ml   buttermilk
3   eggs, separated
300 gm   (2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp   bicarbonate of soda



1 Melt 60gm butter in a small saucepan over low heat, cool slightly, then combine in a large bowl with buttermilk and egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
2 Sift over flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp fine salt, mix until smooth and combined (do not overwork).
3 Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a separate large bowl until firm peaks form (2-3 minutes), then fold into flour mixture.
4 Melt 10gm butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add ¼-cupfuls of pancake batter, allowing room for it to spread. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and edges are golden (1-2 minutes).
5 Turn with a wide spatula and cook until pancake is firm and base is golden (1-2 minutes), transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low oven. Wipe pan with absorbent paper between batches and repeat with remaining butter and batter
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