Sweet or savory, buckwheat, wholewheat, buttermilk or blueberry, I absolutely love pancakes. Whip up a stack for brunch, and it’s a sure way to make me feel pampered. And though I think brunch is the best meal of the day, admittedly I enjoy it most if someone else is preparing it so I can sit back and dig in. I first tried lemon ricotta pancakes at a local café for breakfast and fell in love at first bite. Just a hint sweet and mildly tart, the pancakes are moist and satisfying. The flavors are reminiscent of a lemon-zested cheesecake though not nearly as dense.
Ricotta is a key ingredient in this recipe, and if you can find it or even make it fresh, it makes a big difference. I’m an advocate of incredibly creamy and tasty Ricotta Sopraffina which is available at a local Whole Foods; ask your cheese department for a taste of their favorite variety. The recipe below is adapted from Bay Area Bites Meyer Lemon Pancakes and Epicurious Lemon Pancakes with Sauteed Apples.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup fresh ricotta
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat works well too)
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon*
*For a more tart flavor choose Eureka lemons, sweeter flavor try Meyer
Makes: About 12 small pancakes
Toppings: Maple syrup, jam, honey, walnuts or your favorite topping of choice
1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest, ricotta, and flour.
2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed or a whisk, beat the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.
3. Heat a non-stick pan over moderately high heat and coat the pan with a bit of butter.
4. Dollop heaping tablespoonfuls of the pancake batter into the pans, leaving a bit of space in between each pancake.
5. Cook for roughly 1 minute, until the bottom is golden brown, then carefully flip the pancake to brown for an additional minute or so on the other side.
6. Serve the pancakes hot from pan to plate (or keep warm in a 200°F oven before serving). Top with maple syrup jam or topping of choice.
For the pancakes in this photo shoot, I prepared the batter the night before to see how it would hold up overnight. The pancakes weren’t as fluffy perhaps if I had separated the eggs and whipped it up the morning of, but the end product tasted equally as delicious. The benefit to pre-preparing the batter is that it saved the preparation time in the morning, and it was definitely the next best thing to having someone else make me breakfast. Easy to prepare ahead of time or on the spot, I’m happy to enjoy these any time of day as these pancakes definitely qualify as “yumacious”. If you have a twist on the lemon ricotta pancake, or a favorite pancake recipe to share, please do! And hope you do enjoy this recipe.