Breakfast Tuesday: Ricotta Pancakes

April 19, 2011

Breakfast Tuesday just got a little richer. Ricotta cheese is one of those things I can eat right out of the tub and not think twice about… for better or for worse. While ruminating on my pick for Breakfast this Tuesday, I remembered buying a small tub of ricotta while at the grocery store during a crazed craving-dairy errand. Right then and there I knew that it was time to make ricotta pancakes. Pancakes, small, round miracle yummies, made with a cheese that always makes me think of the gods’ sweet nectar on Mount Olympus seemed like the perfect way to start my week.

After making, plating, and photographing, I dove into the pancakes and just fell in love. I know I say this every time I make a new pancake, but these might just be my favorites. The pancakes come out fluffy like plain ol’ buttermilk cakes but kind of taste like a less cream-cheesy version of cheesecake. I served mine with bananas, slivered almonds, and evaporated milk (I have a problem with dairy and overloading) but can’t help dreaming about a strawberry sauce or other fruity accompaniment to serve with these pancakes.

The first step of this particular recipe involves draining the liquid off the ricotta you plan to use in the batter. I left the cup of ricotta in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and came back a half hour later to find no accumulated liquid in the bowl. This leads me to believe that if you are using a store brand ricotta (like I was) you might not have to drain it at all. I could be wrong, though.

Ricotta Pancakes

(Recipe adapted from The Kitchn)

Yields 8-9 pancakes using a 1/3 cup measure

Ingredients:

1 cup ricotta cheese

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

pinch of salt

¾ cup milk

3 eggs, separated

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

1. Set ricotta in a mesh strainer over a medium-size bowl for 30 minutes before making pancakes to drain excess moisture. (I used store brand ricotta and no liquid accumulated in the draining bowl, so I probably could have skipped this step.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

3. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk or stir together ricotta cheese, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla until mixture is smooth.

4. In yet another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.

5. Add dry ingredients to ricotta mixture and stir just until ingredients are moistened. Whisk in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to lighten the batter, and then gently fold in rest of whites until batter is homogenous.

6. If using cast iron, preheat skillet over medium heat until drops of water sizzle on surface. If using a non-stick or other skillet, preheat over medium-high heat. Smear surface of hot skillet with a light coating of butter and drop pancake batter using either a 1/3 cup measure or ladle. Cook pancakes for 4-5 minutes on each side, until each side is golden brown.

Serve immediately.

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