Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ricotta, dill and honey crumpets

Do you know what the most important thing is you should ask a possible love interest? "Are you a morning person." Yup. True, Do you like chocolate? and Do you like dogs? are very much up there, but in my opinion, whether a couple's sleeping habits are compatible is one of the single most important indicators of how smoothly their days gel in the relationship.

Me, I'm lucky. Not only did my husband buy me very expensive chocolate to impress me on his first trip to New Zealand to visit me, but we are the happy owners of two crazy dogs. Also, we're both not what you would call "morning people". Before the arrival of the Little Girl, we would regularly stay in bed until midday. Not necessarily sleeping.  We would have cups of tea, read a bit, chat a lot, surf the internet, and generally just spend some time together. We were very happy when we were able to train the new puppies to sleep until 10. The Little Girl is doing very well with her occasional 9 'o clock mornings. (Very occasional).

So you can imagine that breakfast is not a regular occurence in our house. Usually we have some toast mid-morning, but that's about it. Maybe some scrambled eggs if somebody is feeling energetic. But you know what? When I picture "happy family", one of the key ingredients is having a fabulous breakfast together. So, when the Little Girl wakes up at, say, 6, and let's face it, if she ain't sleeping, then nobody's sleeping, I try to do something special for breakfast. Sometimes I make omelettes, or french toast, or The Fabulous Man's favourite: egg-in-a-hole. A popular South African breakfast is crumpets (called pikelets in New Zealand, pancakes in Australia), and it always seems as if you've gone through a lot of trouble when you make them. Thank goodness they're easy.

I've been keeping an eye on the popular Paper Chef challenge for a while now. The host choses 3 or 4 ingredients, and participants have to come up with a recipe showcasing them all. It smacks of Iron Chef, and let's be honest, everybody loves Iron Chef (the Japanese one, with the hillarious dubbing and theatrical gestures). This month's event was hosted by Prospect: the Pantry, and the ingredients are honey, ricotta, dill and honey, with New Beginnings as the theme. Sounds like breakfast crumpets, doesn't it?

Everybody can make a crumpet/pikelet/pancake. Everybody loves a crumpet/pikelet/pancake. But to elevate the lovely to the divine, add ricotta, and separate your eggs. Whip the egg whites, and fold it into the batter before making these little beauties. This ensures the crumpets turn out light and pillowy (of course that's a word!). The dill adds a lovely oomph to the crumpets, and drizzling some more runny honey over them before serving is the perfect finishing touch. A great beginning for a new day. Now, go play Happy Family.

Ricotta, dill and honey crumpets
Serves 2

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons runny honey, and more for serving
small handful chopped dill

 Sift together the flour and baking powder. Mix the eggs yolks and milk together, and add this to the flour. Mix in the ricotta, milk and honey and dill.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold this into the batter.

Heat some oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour in spoonfulls of batter into the pan. Fry until golden and done both sides. For me this took about 2 minutes a side, but start with only one crumpet at a time to make sure you get it right. Not all stovetops are the same.

Serve warm drizzled with some extra runny honey.


  1. Looks delicious! Also not a big breakfast maker, but will keep this recipe in mind when next the mood strikes to whip something up in the morning.

  2. Lovely flavor combination for crumpets.

    Thanks for stopping by. I cant find your mail id. Can you please drop me a line so I can send you the details on the book club.

  3. i love big breakfasts but enjoy them too rarely - this is so perfect loving the flavors!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm very much enjoying yours! I love your cooking philosophy. I mostly only make breakfast on the weekends, but this looks delicious.

    Unfortunately, your advice comes too late. I never did ask my sweetheart about being a morning person (which I am NOT) and now I get made fun of a lot for my squinty eyes and grumpy attitude in the morning. I mean, I love life, but is it necessary to jump around and sing right after waking up??

  5. Hopie, did you ever see Four weddings and a Funeral, with the character that jumped out of bed the SECOND the alarm went of? Very funny. Surely nobody does that in real life!

  6. That's what YOU think ;-) That's a funny movie though!

  7. Jumping out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off? Whoever head of such a crazy idea...! Love these pancaket & their fab mix of flavours :)

  8. Congrats! :-)

    See you next for PC51!