The biggest pancake diva of them all
I’ve never met a breakfast or brunch I didn’t like. Bagels and lox. Bacon, sausage, and SPAM. Eggs, scrambled, over easy or poached. Silogs, tap-, long- or bang-. Dim sum, eggs Benedict, egg McMuffin — you name it, I love it.
And one of my most favorite breakfasts? Pancakes. Everyday pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, Swedish pancakes, I adore them all. But my ultimate pancake is the biggest diva of them all: the lemon-ricotta pancake.
These divas are worth it. Even if they deflate, they are still so damn good. Fluffy, velvety and savory with just a hint of citrus, these pancakes aren’t sweet at all.
They’re a little bit more of a pain to make than regular pancakes. For one thing, the process includes separating eggs and then beating the whites to soft peaks. And, unless you have a griddle, you can only make one or two at a time in a pan, although that’s true of every pancake.
But this requires more patience as they take much longer to cook. And when they’re done, eat them immediately, or they deflate. The Mariah of pancakes, a lemon-ricotta pancake doesn’t wait for you. YOU wait for THEM.
But hey, these days? We’ve got time. And these divas are worth it. Even if they deflate, they are still so damn good. Fluffy, velvety, and savory with just a hint of citrus, these pancakes aren’t sweet at all.
And that’s okay, because you can lavish them with your accompaniments of choice — fruit, good butter, and my personal favorite, real maple syrup. Because it’s true what they say: patience is a virtue, and in this case, the lemon-ricotta pancake is virtue’s delicious reward.
(Adapted from a recipe in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Butter for the pan
Beat together the ricotta sour cream or yogurt and egg yolks. Combine baking soda, flour, salt and sugar. Beat egg whites to soft peaks.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat while you finish batter. Stir flour mixture into cheese mixture, blending well but not beating. Stir in lemon juice and zest, then gently fold in beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in batter.
Add about 1 tablespoon butter or oil to griddle or skillet and coat surface. When it is hot, add 1/4 cup batter at a time, making sure to include some egg white in each spoonful. Cook until lightly browned on bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook second side. Serve immediately.