Brown Butter Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Roasted Rhubarb


Hope you don’t mind, but I want to throw another breakfast recipe your way. Don’t worry, I’m not sneaking in kale or tofu this time, just a scoop of cottage cheese. Which isn’t too odd if you think about it. Many of you will have had, or heard of, ricotta pancakes. This is just a kind of “poor man’s” version.

And none the worse for the lowering of circumstance. Both the pancakes and the rhubarb are a bit sweet, but not overly so. And the pancakes are quite substantial because of the protein content of the cottage cheese: I wasn’t hungry for ages after having some for breakfast. And no, I didn’t eat the whole batch. Just three modest cakes and a large spoon of juicy pink rhubarb.

Actually, when I was working on this recipe I was thinking of this combo as more of a dessert, but I figure most folk would see this as firmly in breakfast territory. Perhaps I should have waited awhile with this, but as the rhubarb season is so short for many of you – and the roasted rhubarb goes so well with these little brown-butter cottage cheese pancakes –  I thought you wouldn’t mind. I know you are kind that way. Very indulgent of me. 


Another reason for posting now is to exorcise a bad breakfast experience from my mind – and mouth. Miss R is on study leave, beavering away through piles of files and papers in preparation for some important exams. As a wee treat yesterday we decided to head up the road and into the nearby countryside to have breakfast at a farmshop of excellent repute. Driving up  you are usually greeted by a hen or two, the sound of lambs bleating in the distance, or you’ll at least spot a farm cat rubbing against a gatepost. I sometimes come for fresh vegetables, a loaf of bread, or even a small keg of local beer, but it’s usually too busy, or I’m too in a hurry, to sit, eat and enjoy the panoramic view.

Well, to cut a long story short, we had just about the worst breakfast we have ever had. We both ordered pancakes. Pancakes that declared themselves to be homemade. Well, they may have been homemade a few months ago, but freshly made they were not. I suspect they were either fished out of the freezer and (inexpertly) microwaved, or made-up leftovers from the previous day. Either way they were dry, dry, dry. And the bacon accompanying them was as hard as shoe leather. I of course have never eaten shoe leather but I can’t think it would have been substantially tougher or less flavoursome than the two shrunken shards on my plate. Couldn’t finish either. A real shame as it is a wonderful place otherwise, with lots of family activities, PYO veg and fruit, proper butchers’ counter, blah, blah. Hopefully we just caught them on a bad morning, but I think it was a sign to keep breakfast on home territory. After all, we have hens who greet us and cats who rub on gateposts. If only we had some little lambs. Hmm, fluffy little lambs. Off to make a few phone calls…


Brown Butter Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Roasted Rhubarb

Last Year: Fragrant Tofu Thai Green Curry (with homemade spice mix)
Miss R’s Track of the Week: Michael Kiwanuka’s I’m Getting Ready

A couple things first: I’ve given directions for thicker, fluffier cakes but the photos show thinner ones. This is due to too much almond milk and only one egg (all I was given first thing by my hens!). They tasted great but I know looks are important too so I’ve adjusted accordingly. If you like thinner cakes then by all means up the liquid to 175ml and use one egg. And, the unrefined coconut blossom (palm) sugar. Yes, I said on the About page I wouldn’t go in for specialist ingredients unless necessary, but I had a sample to finish off and it is really amazing stuff. Low GI, low in fructose, and with good green credentials too. This caramel-like natural sugar is the bees knees. Coconut palm sugar isn’t cheap though, so use unrefined caster/superfine sugar otherwise. 

Pancakes

140g white spelt flour OR all-purpose flour
1 heaped tbsp oat bran or wheatgerm
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine salt
1/8 tsp vanilla powder OR ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp unrefined coconut blossom sugar OR unrefined caster/superfine sugar
2 eggs, divided
175g cottage cheese (full or lower fat), pressed though a sieve or well-mashed
120ml almond, rice or dairy milk (I used almond)
1 ½ tbsp butter (optional but lovely)
oil spray

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the egg yolks, sieved cottage cheese and milk.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside

For the brown butter, put the butter in your smallest pan and heat to medium until the butter melts. Keep it on the heat, whisking as the butter foams and rises. It will soon smell nutty and change colour. Remove from the heat when dark bits form at the bottom. Let this cool a minute before whisking it into the wet mixture. Now fold in the dry mix, mixing until most of the flour ‘disappears’. Finally, completely fold in the egg white with a large metal spoon.

Spray and heat a large non-stick sauté pan/skillet. When hot enough (it hisses when a water drop is added), slowly pour on a few good dollops. Flip the cakes when the surface is flecked with bubbles – about 2 ½ minutes – then continue on the other side. Sometimes I cover the pan to hurry them along and then uncover the last minute.  Pile them on a baking try and keep in a warm oven until you are ready to eat. They also keep well in fridge or freezer (interleave with baking paper).  I get 9-10 pancakes, about 5 inches in diameter.

Serve topped with a spoonful of rhubarb and some of the juice.
Low-fibre: use plain flour; skip the oat bran/wheatgerm

Roasted Rhubarb
This versatile recipe may be suitable for some people on low fibre diets if kept to a large tablespoon serving. Everyone else, tuck in with abandon.

400g young slender rhubarb (I use the older, thicker kind in chutneys)
75g sugar – any kind
3 tbsp water
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped or just scored (latter is what I did)
Optional: 1 mild dried chilli such as a ancho (dried poblano) – this doesn’t make it hot, it just adds background interest that works well with rhubarb.

Clean and cut the rhubarb to suitable lengths – I like mine about 3-4 inches –and pop into a roasting tin along with the remaining ingredients and toss together.

Cover the roasting tin loosely with foil and place into a 200C/400F oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue roasting for a further five minutes. It’s done when the rhubarb is tender to the point of a knife, but still intact. Roasted rhubarb is delicious warm or cold; on the pancakes or mixed into yogurt, on ice cream, with a sponge cake. I could go on and on, but it is hugely versatile. 

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19 thoughts on “Brown Butter Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Roasted Rhubarb

  1. I am in heaven reading this recipe . I love love love with a capital L pancakes and am so excited that I may be able to finally eat one without thinking carbs carbs carbs! What a fantastic idea to add cottage cheese and oat bran. Going for ingredients ASAP, love it !!!!! Thank you Kellie! All I keep thinking is I wish you were my mum!!!!!!!!!!! Xxxx

    • Oh Emma, thank you sweetie. I so feel like I know you and to get such a great comment from you, well, I am knocked out. Hopefully we will meet in the flesh and maybe indulge in a few deserved and delicious carbs together. Enjoy the recipe. Make it your own too.

  2. I love the empty plate photo at the end, nice touch! Fresh rhubarb is hard to come by here in Texas, but I do love it and those pancakes look wonderful. Very nice recipe!

    • Thank you Lori. I guess you don’t get cold enough. I don’t recall seeing it when I lived in Florida. When I moved to Scotland I was introduced to lots of things I’d never eaten before, with rhubarb being a favourite. Frozen rhubarb can be a good substitute btw.

    • Most people don’t realise how incredibly versatile rhubarb is. I also like it roasted with rose water & then paired with rice pudding or with pistachio shortbread. I have tried the syrup but not made it. I think 101 cookbooks has a recipe up right now – with rosewater. Roasted rhubarb is so easy & comforting to eat. Especially now here in Edinburgh where it has been raining all night & into the morning. It is not a salad day today :D PS Mackerel & rhubarb recipe soon.

    • It’s never out of fashion in my house, although I love it best just with some tomatoes and cucumber as a snack with a dash of lemon-pepper seasoning. Glad you like the rhubarb too.

    • That’s so weird cos I was thinking of redoing the photos (except the stalk one and the clean plate) as I did them in a rush with poor light. I need a lesson or two from you, but thank you for encouraging me! Hope the delivery went/is going well :D

    • It’s funny cos I was in a rush with the photos and the cakes were a bit thin for most people’s liking, but hopefully folks will read the recipe and realise that it is for thicker, fluffier ones. I just wasn’t measuring for my own! I am too impatient (and usually chasing my tail) for my own good. Must try harder. But thanks for the compliment. I should learn to take things with good grace…

  3. I love the idea rhubarb with the ancho. Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits (it is a fruit right?). You have given me some great ideas to use it in other ways than just with strawberries like I tend to do.

    • Hello there! I am a real rhubarb fiend but I also like things a little spicy or at least aromatice so thought I’d sneak the ancho in for background wow. Rhubarb is a veg but of course we use it as we do fruit. It’s in the same botanical family as buckwheat and sorrel. I had to look that last bit up just now, so don’t think I am a show-off!

      • Thank you for my daily dose of seemingly useless knowledge. Next time I make rhubarb at a dinner party will have to Inform people about it. Will start searching for an ancho

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