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Maple Ricotta Griddle Cakes
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

I doubt if anyone remembers griddle cakes from generations ago and I doubt
even further that you will find these delightful taste treats in any restaurant. And
it's a shame.

The precursor of pancakes of today, griddle cakes were simply very thin
pancakes that were crispier and more tender than what we enjoy today. A cross
between a crepe and a flapjack, I adore the texture and simple taste of these
pancakes our ancestors relished many years ago.

I have a recipe written by my ancestor, dated from 1840-ish, and she wrote that,   
" ... if you keep greasing with fat back, you will have no problems ..."  I have
"Yanked" this recipe in order to keep up with today's palate.

Serve with a side of your favorite, jam, jelly preserves, or Sour Apple Glaze to
dip each forkful into. I also enjoy wrapping these around some aged ham and
cheddar cheese to snack on or as an appetizer.

4 ounces (1 cup) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons maple syrup*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup flour, plus more to knead with
Sour Apple Glaze, recipe below

Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer and let strain out for 30 minutes, removing
as much of the whey as possible.

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, maple syrup, salt and pepper together. Add the
flour and mix until a dough is formed. You may need to add a tablespoon more
flour at a time to come together, depending on how dry you were able to get the
cheese. Remove from bowl onto a floured work surface and knead just until it is
combined and forms a ball.

Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness on a floured work surface. With a 3-inch
diameter cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles. If you have dough left
over, reform and cut more.

Spray or grease a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, shake off excess
flour and add as many circles to the pan as you want, cook for 1 minute, or until
lightly browned. Turn over and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove, repeat
with all griddle cakes.

Sour Apple Glaze
I used some apple jelly I made myself this fall (purchased apple jelly is just as
nice). In a small saucepan, add 1/4 cup apple jelly, 1/4 cup orange juice and 2
teaspoons lime juice. Whisk well and warm over medium heat until hot, stirring

*Honey is a great alternative if you don't have maple syrup on hand.

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About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third
generation chef, a New England food historian and food columnist. His
new cookbook is called
The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every
Kitchen. He would love to hear from anyone about their old family
recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:
Griddle Cakes