Ricotta pancakes


4 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
zest of 1 orange
½ cup all-purpose flour

Mix together the egg yolks, ricotta, sugar and zest. Beat the whites in another bowl until stiff.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture, 1/3 at a time, taking care not to deflate the whites.

Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat and brush with melted butter. Using a ¼ cup dry measuring cup, portion batter into the pan. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 more minutes. Serve pancakes immediately.

Orange-maple sauce:
½ cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
½ cup maple syrup

In a small sauce pan over medium heat reduce the orange juice and orange zest by half. Stir in the maple syrup, remove from heat and allow to cool.

½ cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon honey

Stir together the ricotta cheese and honey until well mixed.

Candied pecans:
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup pecans

Melt the sugar in a dry, nonstick sauce pan over medium low heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, tilt and swirl the sugar so it melts evenly. Once the sugar is golden brown, add the pecans, shut off the heat and stir to coat. Place the pecans onto a nonstick baking tray, wooden cutting board or nonstick, silicon mat to cool completely. Once the nuts are cool, roughly chop them.

To serve the pancakes, top with the ricotta mixture, drizzle generously with the orange-maple sauce and top with the chopped pecans.