Food&Wine Xmas Shoot 2013_8If you haven’t come across Highback Orchard syrup make the effort to find it. This batter can be happily stored for up to 24 hours, covered with clingfilm in the fridge.

Makes 14-16 Hotcakes
20 rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers
about 2 tablespoons Highbank Orchard syrup
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
250g ricotta cheese
175ml buttermilk
2 tablespoon Highbank Orchard syrup
4 eggs, separated
150g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g butter

Put the bacon under a grill until crisp and sizzling. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside to cool completely. Chop half of the bacon into small strips and leave the other half for later.

To make the hotcakes, Beat the ricotta, buttermilk and egg yolks in a large bowl. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl and then add to the ricotta mixture and beat until smooth. Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, fold half into the ricotta mixture to loosen the mix and then fold in the cooled bacon strips until just combined. 

Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Lightly grease with a small portion of the butter and drop two tablespoons per hotcake into the pan – don’t try to cook more than three in one batch. Cook over a low to medium heat for 2 minutes or until golden, then turn over and cook for another minute or so until puffed up and golden. Loosely wrap in a clean tea towel while you finish cooking the remainder.

Meanwhile, brush the remaining bacon with the Highbank orchard syrup and flash back under the grill to glaze. Arrange the buttermilk hotcakes on warmed plates and put the glazed bacon rashers on top to serve.