This past weekend, we looked at the leftover lemon curd in our refrigerator and thought, "That lemon curd needs a friend. That lemon curd needs a pancake."
And so, these extra fluffy, delicious ricotta pancakes were born. The recipe was perfect on the first try, and seeing as that's a rare feat for us, we had to share.
Most ricotta pancake recipes you'll find have you separate the eggs and whip the whites, folding them into the batter at the end. We did the same, and when we ran our finger around the edge of the bowl and licked off the batter (come on, you do that, too), it almost bubbled in our mouth, it was so airy.
The ricotta keeps the finished pancakes really moist. We also added a little vanilla for flavor, although you could add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice and some zest instead — especially if you don't have lemon curd. Somehow lemon and ricotta seem to be paired together often, but a drizzle of honey or a handful of berries would be great, too.
Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Set ricotta in a fine mesh strainer about 30 minutes before you start cooking, to drain off excess liquid. We used fresh ricotta from Whole Foods that was pretty dry. If you are using a commercial brand that's runny, you may want to drain it longer (or make your own).
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
Heat a griddle over medium-high heat, and brush the surface with butter. Use a ladle or measuring scoop (we used a 1/3 cup measure) to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip, cooking until both sides are golden brown.
Spread lemon curd between pancakes and dust with powdered sugar. Or serve with syrup or fruit.
Originally posted April 15, 2008.
(All images: Elizabeth Passarella)