This batter requires a gentle hand, but you will be rewarded with light-as-air hotcakes. The lightly spiced orange syrup is the perfect accompaniment.
1½ cups firm ricotta
2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ cup self-raising flour
pinch of salt
finely grated zest 1 lemon
zest 1 orange
1 cup orange juice
½ cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1 whole star anise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup thick plain yoghurt
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
icing sugar for dusting
Syrup: Place the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 10–15 minutes until reduced and syrupy. The syrup will thicken more on cooling.
Hotcakes: Separate the eggs and place in two bowls. Add the remaining ingredients to the egg yolks and combine.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture in three lots, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
To cook: Grease a sauté pan with a little butter and cook large spoonfuls of the mixture over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and puffed. Keep warm in a low oven until all the mixture is cooked. You should have 12 hotcakes.
To serve: Whisk the sour cream until smooth then fold in the yoghurt.
Arrange 3 hotcakes on each plate and top with a spoonful of the cream mixture, chopped pistachios and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve the syrup in small jugs for each person to drizzle over.
Cook’s tip: This makes more syrup than you will probably need for serving. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator and is great to serve with cakes, meringues and tarts.