Ah, pancakes! They are delicious, and I know some people love them every possible way. I do like a good old pancake, but for me, the beauty is using them as a vessel to hold amazing flavors. You know, gingerbread pancakes around Christmastime. Or, whenever I get to cook breakfast for my niece or nephews, chocolate chip pancakes…with whipped cream and maple syrup, of course. But, recently, I’ve been experimenting with some more “adult” flavors. Sophisticated one might say! 🙂 And, although the name may seem complicated, they are easy and delicious…lemon ricotta pancakes topped with blueberry syrup.
When I was growing up, when it came to good food, we were spoiled. Whenever my mom made pancakes, and it usually only happened during the rare “breakfast for dinner” nights, she made them from scratch. I know there are those boxed dry mixes that people often use, but they are so much better made from scratch, and really, so easy! It’s just a matter of throwing the ingredients together and stirring to combine, very similar to that box mix! So, when I wanted to try to incorporate lemon and ricotta cheese into the batter, I had a good starting point.
Whisk 4 eggs in a large bowl with 1/4 cup sugar until well combined. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter. You’ll want to allow it to cool a bit so you don’t cook the eggs, or, do as I do and just pour it in slowly and whisk the whole time. Then add 1 1/2 cup milk. I sometimes use 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2, if it’s all I have, but feel free to be a little flexible here. Next add 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Finally, mix in the zest of 1 lemon and 15 oz ricotta cheese. I used the whole milk variety, but if you’re concerned about the fat, feel free to use the part skim or skim.
You want to use the whisk to incorporate everything. The batter will be pretty thick, which is actually nice for making the pancakes. Heat a skillet or frying pan to medium heat and give it time to make sure it’s hot. I add the batter using a 1/4 cup measure. Since the batter is so thick, you may need to spread it out a bit. Let them go just a minute or two, until the bottom is golden. Because of the cheese, these usually don’t get the nice bubbles that plain pancakes get, so just use your spatula to check. Turn them over and cook for another minute or two until nice and golden.
If you’re making for a crowd, I turn the oven on to 200 degrees and keep a cookie sheet in there. As I make the pancakes, I throw them in the oven so they all stay warm. They make probably 15 or so nice size pancakes, and they are filling.
Now, to make these pancakes out of this world, I serve them with a blueberry syrup. Just put 2 pints blueberries and 1/4 cup maple syrup into a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Heat them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the berries have all burst and the sauce has thickened. I usually do this the day before and let it cool. You can always quickly re-heat, but it’s too hot right off the stove.
I made these this past weekend for some friends down the shore, and they gobbled them up. The pancakes are rich and delicious with a slight lemon taste, and the blueberries are scrumptious!