Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes With Mixed Berries

Attention! Attention! The BEST pancake recipe is found! I’m not joking. I’m not exaggerating either. And to prove my point I’m gonna just say that there are so many recipes that I intend to post here, and for many of them I already have step-by-step pictures taken and even instructions drafted, nevertheless, they are still lingering somewhere out there waiting for my mood to swing into a favorable direction. Whereas, these things I made yesterday morning and I’m already posting this recipe the next day. And this is a pretty solid and valid proof of pancake-superiority. Okay? Oh, AND Alex ate them! Anymore proof you need?
It was destiny that brought these pancakes and me together. And don’t you dare to roll your eyes or laugh at me here! Destiny isn’t a joking matter. I wasn’t looking for a specific pancake recipe. The recipe had found me. Ricotta isn’t something you could find in our fridge on the regular basis. But since the twins are refusing to eat most of the human food, I try to offer them as much verity as possible, in hopes that something’s gonna tickle their taste buds. So basically, I bought ricotta for them, but my goodnatured attempts were shamefully rejected on several occasions yet again. And that is how I started looking for ways to use this poor rejected container of ricotta.
It took me several days of searching the web and flipping thru the old issues of Food & Wine and Bon Appetite magazines to finally find it. So, this recipe is coming from the 2011 issue of Bon Appetite magazine, with slight moderations. 
The original recipe calls for 1/2 of chestnut flour and 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. For the life of me, I couldn’t find chestnut flour in any of the stores in our neighborhood. And trust me, our neighborhood has got some weird stores with some weird stuff in them. Thus, I’ve decided to substitute chestnut flour for almond flour, which, by the way, I already had in my pantry. And while I was already preparing batter, I’ve decided to switch 1/2 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. 
Also, the original recipe suggests using “scant 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake”, and that was just too much for my personal preference. I tried making two with 1/2 cup and they turned into a big-ass pancakes. So, scant 1/3 cup was making a perfectly sized pancake for me.
If you wanna try to find the chestnut flour and follow the original recipe – more power to you. If not, try the way I made them. Or even, use a cup of each all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour – I’m pretty convinced that they would taste almost as good. 
But in any case, you have to try these wonderful pancakes! Please please please make them! Or, come to my house and I’ll make them for you. While you babysit the twins, of course.


So, to make the magic happen, you will need:

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 cups mixed fresh berries
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Melted unsalted butter for brushing
Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth; set over a small bowl. Add ricotta to strainer and let drain for at least 15 minutes; set aside. If you plan to make these pancakes for breakfast, I’d suggest you set up your ricotta for draining first this in the morning. Yes, even before you have your first cup of coffee! And somewhere between your first and and second cup, you can do the next step. 
Gently combine berries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Let macerate, tossing occasionally, until sugar dissolves and juices are released.
Whisk your flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until peaks form. 
Whisk the egg yolks, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and zest in another medium bowl to blend. Whisk in milk. Add the yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just to blend. 
Add half of the egg white mixture; fold just to blend. Fold in ricotta, then remaining egg white mixture. DO NOT over mix! Use very gentle swirling motions when folding in ricotta; this will create little pockets of cheese in your batter, which later on will turn into little pockets of cheese in your pancakes. 
Heat a griddle or large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; brush with melted butter. 
Using scant 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and working in batches, ladle batter onto griddle and cook until bottom is golden brown, edges are dry, and bubbles form on top of pancake. Flip pancakes and cook until browned and just cooked through. You might want to brush on some more melted butter in between your batches. Just see if the surface if your griddle or skillet gets dry and not so glossy. (I guess, this might be true for cast iron griddles like mine, and not so much for nonstick ones).
Transfer pancakes to plates. Serve with berries and their juices. Enjoy! And you are welcome!


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