My best friend, Gigi, and I were “born friends” just like my other best friend, Pilar. Gigi’s mom and mine were classmates in the 3rd grade and remained friends throughout their school years and subsequently their married lives. Though we technically didn’t choose to be friends, Gigi and I get along like the proverbial house on fire. Gigi is well-read, open-minded, kooky, generous, and hard-working to a T. She worked for the State of California for years while raising her daughter as a single parent so was often too busy to cook elaborate meals. But a year ago she retired and now finding herself with more time on her hands, she’s been dabbling in the kitchen more and more.
Gigi sent me this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. On a visit to Canada a few months ago, she stayed at the Fairholme Manor Inn, a lovely bed-and-breakfast in Victoria, British Columbia. The Fairholme’s owner, Sylvia Main, has published two cookbooks of breakfast and brunch recipes that are served at the inn. These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are among one of their more popular breakfast items. Anyway, I thought I would give them a try and I must say, they were definitely delicious. Light and fluffy with a hint of lemon flavor, my daughter Bashful loved them! That being said, they were a little tricky to make.
The challenge came not from making the batter, which was unusual to say the least. (I’ve never made pancakes with a meringue mixture folded into them!) The challenge came from the actual cooking process. This pancake batter is sooo soft and light that flipping the pancakes takes care and patience! I would advise pouring the pancakes a little bit smaller than normal-size pancakes to make them easier to handle when flipping. You should also grease the pan with a little bit of butter or margarine before pouring each pancake to ensure it doesn’t stick. It won’t hurt to butter the edge of your spatula, as well. Just stick with it and work slowly. After the first couple of pancakes, you’ll get the hang of it.
LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- dash of salt
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup milk
- 1¾ cups (15-oz.) ricotta cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat griddle or skillet on medium heat.
- In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.
- Sift and mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine with egg yolks, lemon zest, milk, and ricotta cheese.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.
- Gradually add the sugar, creating a meringue.
- Gently fold meringue into the egg-ricotta batter.
- Lightly oil griddle with butter or margarine and pour about ⅓ cup batter onto center.
- Cook until bubbles form around edges.
- Carefully flip pancake to cook other side until golden.
- Serve with butter and syrup.
[This recipe yielded about a dozen pancakes.]