I’m very self-critical. I would normally find myself in front of a ready-prepared, styled and shot meal and always find something I’m not happy with: Here I could have used different props, there I could have added more salt/pepper/sauce/cheese/anything, and, oh, well, obviously the camera settings are somehow always wrong, too.
So, I assume it must mean something when I’m standing in the middle of my messy kitchen, try a spoonful from a (lukewarm to ice-cold) recipe and my eyes pop out of my head. Sometimes the easiest things taste like they’re not from this world, and then I am oh-so thankful for Mother Nature (and somehow happy with my cooking skills, too).
One example is the rhubarb orange compote as pictured here. Apart from rhubarb it doesn’t need much else to be a-ma-zing: the juice of an orange for sweetness, the core of half a vanilla bean – to me the most perfect thing to go with rhubarb –, a bit of sugar and some corn starch. The result though: Insane!
You might be surprised (I am, too) to hear that I was also very happy with the pancakes. The “quark“ makes them incredibly fluffy, and the lemon juice and zest give them a hint of summer.
However, of course there’s something I’m not happy with – hehe. Two things actually, mainly the fact that I am unable to share taste and smell with you through laptop screens or Instagram filters. Secondly, well, let’s please not talk about the photos (obviously, they’re always the hardest part). I’m staying at my parents’ for a few days and the light here is not my friend so far!
Thankfully though, no light in this world will change the taste of this delicious breakfast, and I hope for you that you will give the pancakes and compote a try!
Lemon “quark“ pancakes with rhubarb orange compote
For two servings.
For the compote:
400 grams rhubarb
1/2 vanilla bean
1 orange (possibly small; the more juice, the runnier the compote)
50 grams sugar (I used brown)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the lemon “quark“ pancakes:
75 grams wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar (I used brown)
1 egg, organic preferably
100 millilitres milk
Zest and juice of 1 organic or unwaxed lemon
75 grams “quark“ (I used non-fat) (or substitute by ricotta)
Butter, for frying
To serve (optional):
Yogurt or “quark“
Wash the rhubarb, remove the ends and cut the stalks into 1–2 cm thick pieces.
Remove the core of the vanilla bean.
Squeeze the orange juice.
Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and caramelise it. Add the orange juice (careful, it splashes), stir and bring the juice to a boil. Add rhubarb and vanilla, stirring, and bring to a boil. (Note: Any hard caramel pieces will melt during the process.)
Cover the saucepan and simmer the compote for 10–12 minutes until the rhubarb has softened, stirring once or twice. Allow the rhubarb compote to cool slightly.
In the meantime, make the pancakes. Mix flour with baking powder, salt and sugar.
Separate the egg, whisk the egg yolk with milk, lemon zest and juice. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Whisk the egg white until stiff. Carefully fold the egg white and “quark“ into the batter.
Heat a pan over medium heat. Brush it with some butter, then add a scoop of batter. Bake the pancake until golden brown (2–3 minutes), then flip the pancake and bake on the second side until golden brown.
Transfer the pancake to an oven-safe plate and place it in the oven at 80–100°C to keep it warm. Continue with the remaining batter as before, transferring all pancakes to the warm oven.
Once ready, arrange the pancakes with the rhubarb compote and serve with maple syrup and yogurt, if desired.
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