Fluffy Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

I admit, I was skeptical about putting cheese in my pancake batter. I’m not exactly sure why, I have no problem adding bananas, cornmeal, buttermilk or even squash to my pancakes, so why not ricotta? Well to me, it just seemed like too far a deviation from a recipe who’s beauty lies in its simplicity.

Wow, was I ever wrong. These are the fluffiest, moistest, most delicate yet flavorful pancakes I have ever made. I admit the recipe requires a bit more work than my classic pancake batter. You’ll need to separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff before incorporating them into the rest of the batter, but I guarantee the results are worth every second of extra effort.

Fluffy Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 cup (250 g) ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • the grated zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Butter, for cooking
  • for serving: maple syrup, powdered sugar, lemon curd or fruit jam
Makes 8 to 10 pancakes

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and poppy seeds in a small bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest in a separate, larger mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a handheld electric mixer until stiff. Incorporate a small amount of the egg whites into the pancake batter to lighten the batter first, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula.

Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Melt a small bit of butter in the pan, just enough to coat the surface. Pour small ladle-fulls of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook the pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, until a few bubbles appear in the center of the pancakes. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.

Serve the pancakes immediately, with maple syrup, fruit jam, lemon curd, or powdered sugar.


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