Tuesday 23 November 2021

Chestnut pancakes with persimmon sauce

5 minutes to prepare Serves 4



Chestnut flour is usually not included among the staple ingredients of our pantry. Today it can be hard to buy a good chestnut flour, certainly it is expensive.

Yet the chestnut flour, also called sweet flour, is one of the key ingredients of the Tuscan mountain cucina povera.
When people had to struggle to source food for the family, chestnuts supported the local population with their calorie supply and their versatility. Roasted chestnuts over open fires would become bruciate, burnt, boiled chestnuts with fennel seeds would be called ballotte, dry chestnuts would instead enrich meat or game stuffing.
When chestnuts are dried and ground into fine flour, they turn into polenta, bread, cakes, cookies, fresh pasta, or necci.

Necci are thin pancakes with crisp edges, belonging to Tuscany Mountains, nothing more than simple crêpes made just with chestnut flour and water, that could be then eaten plain or filled with sausage, pancetta or ricotta.
Today we decided to turn this is a traditional, humble recipe in something charmingly modern. We added some egg and ricotta cheese for additional softness.

These pancakes are quick, easy, and all you need now is a good non-stick pan.
Once chestnut pancakes are ready, play with your favourite ingredients to fill them. For me, nothing beats a dollop of persimmon pulp with a teaspoon of honey, but believe me when I say that they are moreish with a thick layer of chocolate spread.

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe:

2 tablespoons sugar
90 g chestnut flour
8 g vanilla baking powder
125 ml milk
60 g ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 persimmon fruits

  1. Beat egg yolk with milk
  2. Sift and gradually incorporate all the dry ingredients (sugar, chestnut flour, baking powder). Meanwhile, keep mixing until smooth
  3. Add ricotta cheese and mix again
  4. Beat the egg white until stiff for about 5 minutes. The, add it to the mixture and mix slowly
  5. Preheat a non stick pan on medium heat. Once it’s hot, lower the heat down to low-medium heat. Wait about two minutes
  6. Lightly grease the pan with a small amount of butter
  7. Use a measuring cup to pour your batter so you get perfect, evenly sized pancakes. Start pouring from the middle, then continue pouring slowly in a circular motion so that the batter spreads into perfect round shapes
  8. Allow the pancakes to cook properly! Don’t rush them on high heat, or flip them too early. Let that under-side cook to a beautiful golden brown color, and when bubbles start forming on top and around the surface (batter side), they are ready to flip
  9. Meanwhile, peel and cut the persimmon fruits into pieces. Pleace them in a blender and blend them until you obtain a smooth sauce
  10. Leave pancakes to cool a bit, then garnish the top with some honey and permimmon sauce

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

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