Ricotta pancakes with basil-poached peaches

Ricotta pancakes with basil-poached peaches

William Meppem

Peaches and basil are a wonderful combination, just as good as tomato and basil. These peaches are delicious with bircher muesli or on their own. (There are many varieties of peaches but my favourites for poaching are late O’Henry and tropic beauty.) Ricotta is a subtle cheese; its Italian name means ‘recooked’ because that is how the cheese is prepared – by reheating the milk’s whey. Frozen berries are very good as pancake fillings: they keep their shape and hold up during cooking because they are still semi-frozen when folded into the batter, but they will be soft and luscious by the time the pancakes are ready.

Poached peaches


Quantity Ingredient
5 firm yellow peaches, halved
1 litre Stock syrup
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 bunch basil

Peach nectar

Quantity Ingredient
50ml Stock syrup
1 tablespoon rosewater
handful basil leaves, shredded

Ricotta pancakes

Quantity Ingredient
280g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
55g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white
250ml milk
55g soft butter
100g ricotta
160g frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
additional ricotta, raspberries and basil leaves, to garnish


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Plunge the peach halves into the water for 10 seconds so the skins blister, then remove and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain then peel off the skins.
  2. To poach the peaches, bring the stock syrup to the boil, reduce to a low simmer and add the lemon zest, juice and peaches. Cover with a greaseproof paper circle – a cartouche – cut to sit neatly on top of the liquid, and poach for about 6 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat, add the bunch of basil and set aside to cool.
  3. To make the peach nectar, remove 4 of the poached peach halves and place in a saucepan. Cover with another 50 ml of stock syrup and add the rosewater. Bring to the boil over a low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the peaches are overcooked and very soft. Liquidise them in a food processor, strain through a sieve and set aside to cool. When cool add the shredded basil.
  4. To make the pancakes, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
  5. In another bowl combine the egg yolks, sour cream, milk and butter and whisk well. Gradually add the flour mixture, whisking until it forms a smooth batter.
  6. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form, then fold them gently into the batter. Fold in the ricotta and raspberries.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Add a teaspoon of the pancake mix to test when the pan is hot enough. Add the pancake mix 1 ladle at a time; you can make 2 pancakes at a time, about 10–12 cm in diameter. Cook gently on both sides until golden.
  8. To serve, arrange a pancake on each serving plate with poached peaches on top. Sprinkle with a few raspberries and some ricotta, then spoon generously with peach nectar and garnish with basil leaves.
high end
fine dining
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