Ricotta Hotcakes with Warm Spiced Apples and Maple Syrup

Hotcakes are similar to pancakes, but better (and sexier). The creamy ricotta cheese and airy whipped egg whites renders them pillowy soft and tender, while the warm spiced apples and raisins offer delicious fragrance and sweetness.

Makes about 16 hotcakes

Hotcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

canola oil for griddle


Apples:

2 tablespoons butter

2 sweet, crisp apples, peeled and diced (such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Honeycrisp)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/2 cup pure maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling


1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk ricotta cheese, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and whisk just until combined.

3. In a clean, dry glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high until foamy. Using a spatula, fold into the batter.

4. Pour a little bit of oil on a griddle over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle. Cook for 1 minute, or until golden underneath. Flip and cook 30-60 more, or until golden. Repeat. Keep hotcakes on a covered warm plate or in a low oven (250 degrees F) until ready to serve. 

5. To make the apples, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden and tender, but not mushy. Add remaining ingredients through 1/2 cup maple syrup. Stir well and cook 2 minutes, or until the syrup begins to bubble. Cool slightly. When ready to serve, ladle on top of hotcakes. Serve with maple syrup.