Sunday Pancakes: Lovely Lemon Ricotta

lemoncakesWeekday mornings are always so hectic no matter what time we all get up, and we have our weekday routine pretty much down, but on weekends I like to loosen it up a bit and take our time in the mornings when we can. The kids stay in their pajamas, we watch a movie or put on some music, and the kids always request pancakes. Now, I've given you the Best Pancake Recipe Ever and Rainbow Pancakes, now I want to mix things up a bit with a restaurant favorite of mine that I never attempted at home. I'm sort of a wimp in the kitchen, but my motto is "If I can make it, anyone can make it". All three older kids LOVED these lemon ricotta pancakes (so incredibly rare to have all three agree on one food) and I think you'll love them too. Happy weekend! xoxo recipe adapted from Chow.com...

ingredients:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (and a bit more for coating the frying pan) 1 cup whole milk 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon fine salt 3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon packed finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 to 3 medium lemons) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese Powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top before serving)

directions:

Place the butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until the butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and set aside.

Whisk together the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in a quarter of the milk-butter mixture first to prevent the eggs from curdling, then whisk in the remaining milk-butter mixture until smooth.

Add in the reserved flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined (be careful not to overmix) and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks (I had a slight problem with the egg whites making "peaks" but my pancakes turned out great anyway so don't sweat it if you run into the same issue). Halfway through whisking them, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using the spatula, fold the whites into the reserved batter until just combined.

Very gently, fold the ricotta into the batter, being careful not to break down the texture of the cheese (the batter will be lumpy and streaked with ricotta) and set aside.

Heating the pan ahead of time is important, so take about 4 minutes or so to heat a large nonstick frying pan, griddle, or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Flick a few drops of water on the pan to see if it is hot enough, if the water bounces and sputters, the pan is ready to use.

Lightly coat the pan’s surface with butter, then use a 1/4-cup measure to scoop the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles form on top of the pancakes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more. These are great with a little powdered sugar and maple syrup over them, and you can also top them with fresh fruit too. Enjoy! xoxo

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