Help for the home cook: chef Craig Harding’s fluffy ricotta pancakes

Help for the home cook: chef Craig Harding’s fluffy ricotta pancakes

Craig Harding has been the driving force behind some of Toronto’s most beloved restaurants, including the late, great Italian spot Campagnolo, the soon-to-be packed again (once it officially re-opens) La Palma on Dundas West, and the Mediterranean kitchen at Constantine, located in the boutique hotel Anndore House.

He’s also one of the 30-plus star chefs working in collaboration with Dairy Farmers of Ontario to create Savour Ontario at Home, a free recipe collection designed to inspire home chefs to shake up their meal repertoires.

Cooking in quarantine should be an adventure, Harding says. “Take the time to try something daunting because when you nail it, it’s so satisfying and I guarantee that the next time you make that recipe it will be a breeze.”

To start things off right, he recommends a fail-proof—and actually not super-daunting—recipe for fluffy, delicious ricotta pancakes.

“These might take a little more effort than a box of ready-mix pancakes,” he says, “but I can assure you they are impossibly light and also have the crispiest edges which, in my opinion, are the best part of a pancake. With the added nutritional value of ricotta, these will fill you up for longer and provide a good amount of protein and nutrients.”

Harding finishes the dish with a heaping dollop of ricotta, extra lemon zest, and a garnish of wild blueberries. “I always keep the berries frozen, but any fresh or preserved fruit will do. And, you can’t forget about a generous helping of real Canadian maple syrup.”

Ricotta Pancakes

Yields: 12 to 14 pancakes

  • 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Ontario buttermilk
  • 1 cup Ontario milk
  • ½ cup Ontario ricotta, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ontario butter, melted
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • fruit, fresh or preserved for garnish
  • butter and canola oil for frying
  1. Put all your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add your milk and buttermilk, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add ricotta, lemon zest and melted butter, then whisk to incorporate.
  4. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk before folding into pancake batter.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan to medium and make a few small testers using either butter or canola oil. “I like to use a mix of both so that you get the flavour, but it doesn’t burn so quickly,” says Harding.
  6. Top with fresh ricotta, more lemon zest, fruit and maple syrup and enjoy.