Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Sauce

One thing I am grateful for is to live with someone who has a great creative mind when talking about food. I would not have guessed when I started dating Kevin that he would be the muse to my baking. Since I started my new job with much longer days, he’s been making dinner for us pretty much every evening, and I’m always pleasantly surprised at what I come home to eat! A lot of the times when I’m in the kitchen baking I have a plan and a recipe and I’m armed and ready, but there are times when I need an idea or some inspiration, and he comes to the rescue. It’s a pretty great quality, and pretty useful too – you have him to thank for these incredible pancakes!

Last Saturday he requested lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast Sunday, which is typically our lazy day, so that seemed like a great idea. We even had most of the ingredients on hand, which is a rarity, but I think it means these pancakes were meant to be. Kevin picked up some fresh blueberries and blackberries Sunday morning, and we got to work.

I’ve made lemon ricotta pancakes before, but not like these. Typically I find ricotta weighs the batter down, and makes the pancakes flat and dense, but these were ultra-puffy and not too dense at all. They are almost more cake-like in texture, but still awfully moist. The berry sauce that accompanies them is really flavorful and vibrant, and not too sweet which I enjoyed. You can of course make the syrup as sweet as you’d like, but there’s something rather refreshing about a big stack of pancakes that’s got loads of flavor, but doesn’t feel heavy sitting in your belly.

The recipe calls for blueberries in the sauce, though we used a combination of blueberries and blackberries and the flavor was great – the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I added a bit of maple syrup to my big stack o pancakes, just for some extra sugah (just a bit!), and we had some crispy, salty bacon to accompany the sweet and fruity dish. Sunday morning breakfast at it’s best!

What’s your favorite way to start a lazy weekend morning?

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Sauce
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

To make the blueberry sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or blackberries or raspberries)
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

1) In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch, set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and stir in lemon juice and cornstarch mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly.  Cover to keep warm and set aside.

To make the pancakes
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon canola oil

1) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest, and canola oil. Gently fold the ricotta mixture into the dry ingredients until the flour just disappears – be careful not to over mix. The batter will be thick.

3) Heat a griddle or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray, or heat a small pat of butter and swirl to coat pan.  Drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot griddle or skillet. Cook the pancakes until browned on the underside and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the pancakes on the other side, about two minutes longer. Continue making pancakes until batter is gone. Serve warm with berry sauce.

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