Monday, March 28, 2011

Meatless Monday: Gluten-Free Mascarpone Pancakes with Raspberry Maple Syrup

It's no secret that I love mascarpone I've used it in breakfast dishes, pasta and I make a killer tiramisu that I promise to share in the very near future, since it will make an AH-MAZING Easter dessert.  But back to these beauties.  With the Pancake Day falling a few weeks ago the web was saturated with pancake recipes.  I came across quite a few that incorporated ricotta cheese and while they all sounded delicious I thought that mascarpone would also work fabulously in a pancake.  And pancakes while obviously good fro breakfast also make a delicious Meatless Monday dinner, or really any meal for that matter.

I've also been pretty intrigued with quinoa flour and have been looking for an excuse to use it.  Making good gluten-free foods is intriguing to me, My friend Suz over at You Can't Eat What has so many food restrictions it's a bit crazy and she is always trying to make yummy foods while taking into account all of her restrictions. Keeping her and the numerous other people who have to restrict or eliminate gluten in their diets, I wanted to try to develop a recipe that would work for them and is also something that those of us who don't have to worry about such things would also enjoy.  What's interesting to me about quinoa flour is that is so high in protein and is so good for you that why not use in something that's a little decadent and indulgent to a bit healthier.  Also in many recipes that I've seen it seems that it can be subbed in a 1 to 1 ratio in many recipes.  I don't claim to know anything about gluten-free cooking & baking so don't take that as complete fact, just something I came to assume after a brief survey of some recipes.

Mascarpone also pairs beautifully with raspberries, since the only raspberries in the store these days are from chili I decided against making a fresh compote and went for syrup made with some of my homemade local jam and some lovely Ontario Maple Syrup.  It's sugaring season right now and it seemed like a no brainer to take advantage of that by making an amped up maple syrup for these pancakes.

Gluten-Free Mascarpone Pancakes
makes 24 silver dollar pancakes
printable recipe

1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsps sugar
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mascarpone at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 eggs  - separated
butter for skillet

1. In a mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar & salt, stir to combine.  In another bowl whisk together milk, egg yolks, mascarpone, lemon juice and lemon zest.
2.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
3.  In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
4.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium low.  When fully heated, lightly coat with butter.  Add 2 Tbsps dollops of batter into the skillet, my 12" skillet fit 3 at a time, just be carefully not to crowd the pan or they will be impossible to flip.
5. Let the pancakes cook until bubbles start to pop on top, then gently flip and cook for a minute or 2 longer.  Repeat with all of the batter.  Keep finished pancakes warm in a 200F oven.  Serve with Raspberry Maple Syrup & butter.

Raspberry Maple Syrup

3 Tbsps raspberry jam
3 Tbsps maple syrup

In a small saucepan combine the jam and syrup and heat gently over medium low until warmed through.

The mascarpone adds a richness to these pancakes that truly makes them special.  There is a slight quinoa taste to them, but with the rich mascarpone, lemon and the raspberry maple syrup it's barely discernible.  I challenge any red-blooded gluten eater to say that these pancakes aren't just as good as those made with conventional all-purpose flour.  While we don't need to eat gluten free foods, with the amount of foods that have gluten unnecessarily added it can't hurt to have a recipe or two that we like in the arsenal, right?


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