I spent the weekend with some very important people in my life - my aunts and my cousins. It's my practice at our annual get-together to boss around my cousins as they sous-chef, while I create breakfast magic.
It's wonderful because my powers in the kitchen are undisputed THERE (and only there). The Aunts love whatever is produced and one cousin bears the brunt of the grunt work and another cleans up. I just stride around barking orders and finishing each dish (and taking full credit, of course). This year, we needed a slightly quicker and less involved production. So, I went with Tyler's Ultimate Pancakes. (In the more than 15 years that I've been providing breakfast for the weekend, I have NEVER made pancakes before. But these just looked amazing.)
Well, YOU MUST MAKE THESE! To be honest, the best part wasn't the pancakes, it was the accoutrements. The single most exciting element, I felt, was the roasted prosciutto. This was a real revelation. Tyler lays slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet and cooks them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. They shrink and become crispy, ethereal, almost shatterable and SO DELICIOUS. And it's very important to identify them as ROASTED, it sounds much more highbrow than BAKED. Get your hands on some prosciutto and do this. You will not regret it.
The other extra element was "Roasted Apples". Very very nice. I cut the sugar and maple syrup by half and they were fine. Use a foil-lined and Pam-ed baking sheet, not a roasting pan or baking dish. You don't want the apples to steam. Oh, and I don't like cooking golden delicious apples. I used grannies and pink ladies.
Now to the Ricotto Pancakes themselves. I doubled the recipe and could have fed an entire firehouse. One recipe will feed 6 to 8 people. And there was a problem. They were very fluffy and luscious, but they were taking far too long to cook in the middle. You need to thin the batter - more than slightly. Since you have to buy a quart of buttermilk anyway, it's not a problem, or you could just use milk. Don't cut down the sugar, you need it all. In fact, I added one and half times the sugar in the recipe.
The other fantastic recipe that Tyler included was Peach Ginger Bellinis. Don't be a ninny like I was and double the recipe for the sugar syrup, unless you're catering a wedding reception. You'll have far too much anyway. You simply chop up ginger (Tyler said to grate it...unnecessary...just chop it.) Then you throw it together with sugar and water and bring to the boil. Let it steep for 15 minutes and then strain it through a FINE sieve. (He didn't say that). Blend it with frozen peaches. Add it to champagne and you too can get your relatives blitzed faster than they can say "Find me a chair." It's just so delicious and goes down so easily, that it's not hard to guzzle it.
The Ricotto Pancakes are arranged on the plates. Roasted Apples are placed artfully over. WARM maple syrup gets drizzled on and fragile prosciutto pieces are balanced on top. It's an outstanding breakfast made better by sharing it with family, who, admittedly, are darlingly easily impressed. But I'm certainly not and I thought it was fabulous.