Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

photo-49This weekend brunch treat brings back all sorts of memories to me (most food does this actually).  The nostalgia associated with this meal though goes way back to the 6th grade and my best friend at that time, Claire Greene.  She was an Australian with loads of freckles and a severe-looking brown bob. Her favorite color was purple and she had the most excellent handwriting (little circles over her 'i's) and lots and lots of sneakers.  We had sleep overs at her Moscow apartment on many a weekend, watching The Brady Bunch on VHS and looking forward to her mother's pancakes in the morning.  What I loved is that the pancakes were not served with syrup as I had grown up with (and frankly found too cloyingly sweet already), but with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dusting of icing sugar (powdered sugar to you and me).  The batter was bursting with blueberries - oh, it was heaven!Years later, when I lived in San Francisco, I was training for a half marathon with my friend Samia.  As the date of the race crept nearer we had to complete a long training run each Sunday morning - why I was running could take years of therapy to figure out - no, I didn't feel a great sense of satisfaction once I'd run up and down the hills of the city for 13.1 miles.  Anyway, to treat ourselves after these long morning runs, we'd head to a little cafe in Noe Valley and order lemon ricotta pancakes.  The addition of ricotta made me feel just a little less gluttonous and again the blueberries with the lemon!  No syrup needed, they were moist and sharp and delightful.Since I seem to be up at the crack of dawn these days, I thought it only made sense to dust off my morning brunch repertoire and make the lemon ricotta pancakes myself.  I looked around online for inspiration and adapted the following recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.  Perhaps they will bring back some memories for you too - or create new ones!makes 8 large pancakesINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Place all of your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In another bowl whisk together all of the remaining (wet) ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just blended.  You can add a little bit of milk if you think the mixture is too thick, but it should be quite stodgy looking.  Heat your skillet on high heat and lightly oil the pan.  I used an ice cream scoop to place about a 1/3 of a cup of batter in the pan to make each pancake.  Cook for about 2 minutes per side (little bubbles will appear).  Keep your pancakes warm in a low oven until you're all finished.  Serve with fresh blueberries, icing sugar and/or syrup as you like!