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Pikelets with Vanilla Pears and Sweetened Ricotta

I remember making pikelets as a child and the size of them being so perfect to devour. They are such a neat package and as they aren't too sweet themselves they are perfect for toppings such as syrupy fruits or even smoked salmon and crème fraiche - which make them perfect for a special brunch. They are fun for children to flip once old enough to handle the hot stove.

Pictured: Cooking Pikelets - note the bubbles forming on the top of some to signal time to flip

Pikelet Batter -
½ cup milk
1 tsp white vinegar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp baking soda
2 - 3 tbsp sugar – depending on sweet versus savoury topping
1 egg
1 tbsp melted butter

Pears –
4 pears
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
½ cup water
1 vanilla bean
Zest of 1 lemon and the juice

Sweetened Ricotta –
250g ricotta
2 tbsp icing sugar and a few pinches cinnamon

Pikelets –
Mix milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk egg into the milk mix.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat until smooth.
Stir in the melted butter.
Heat frypan to medium heat, rub with buttered baking paper. Drop dessertspoonfuls onto the frypan, slightly spaced apart as they settle and spread into rounds.
Once bubbles start appearing on the top they are ready to turn over to cook the other side – cook until both sides nicely browned.
Keep warm in a tea towel. Otherwise let cool and warm, covered, in an oven.

Pears –
Quarter the pears, no need to peel but do not include the core,  and place in a wide fry pan with remaining ingredients, let simmer til caramelised, turning regularly – about 10 minutes.

Sweetened Ricotta -
Sift icing sugar and cinnamon into ricotta and mix well.

Serve pikelets with warm pears and a dollop of ricotta.

Serves 4

Pictured: Vanilla, Honey Pears