I spend a lot of time browsing recipes, either for the blog or for my own personal enjoyment, and sometimes feel like I’ve seen everything. As you’re well aware, it’s impossible to have seen everything in this complex, ever-changing world of ours, but sometimes you can’t help but follow that line of thought. It sounds odd but I’m pretty thankful for these existential ruts because they motivate me to rethink the way I do things. It’s not that everything in the world is the same, it’s that I’m seeing it that way and believing it, and have to find another method to my madness.

It’s almost that time of the week again, and I’m going through heaps of breakfast recipes, in books, on the internet, in magazaines, in my head, etc. All of a sudden I find myself stuck in the philosophical mud described above and have to get out. Instead of looking at recipes, I start looking at photographs and having a bit of fun, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, trying not to drool and marveling over the sheer talent of the photographers (who are not professionals but have an amazing sense of styling and lighting and all the parts that make one a great food photographer). I’m thankful to have access to all these pictures and even more grateful to have the recipes for most of the images just a click away. In the middle of my photo-surfing, I see it. There. A light and fluffy slice of soufflé-ed perfection dotted with berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I click to the recipe. It’s a soufflé pancake. Excuse me? A SOUFFLE PANCAKE.  How I have I never heard of such a marvelous creation? How have I not made them at least once a week for the past… forever?! What a brilliant idea! There’s something new on the immediate horizon and I am back in the preferred mindset of “goodness gracious, look at all the different and amazing things around us!”

As a warning, you might be seeing these a lot more around here, but I doubt that’ll be an issue once you’ve tried it and are as amazed as I was at the texture, presentation, and versatility of this recipe. Happy Breakfast Tuesday!

Ricotta Souffle Pancake with Peaches

(Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking, originally Lemon Ricotta Souffle Pancake with Berries)

Serves 6 to 8

Note: The original recipe has a ton of suggestions for what to put on top of the pancake, things like dried fruit, nuts, bananas, blueberries, etc. I just used peaches because that’s what I had on hand, and the idea of some sort of peach-ricotta pancake made me weak in the knees.

Ingredients:

¾ cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

4 eggs, separated

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (separated, 2 tablespoons for pan and 2 tablespoons melted and cooled slightly)

2/3 cup ricotta

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup roughly chopped peaches, or other fruit/topping*

2 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling

*I used about a ½ cup chopped peaches and was very pleased with the fruit to pancake ratio.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet into oven.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, ricotta, milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth.

4. In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.

5. Add dry ingredients to yolk mixture and combine well. Add a dollop of whipped egg white and stir to loosen batter. Fold in remaining whites until combined, taking care not to over mix.

6. Remove skillet from oven and put remaining two tablespoons butter in skillet to melt. When butter is melted, pour batter evenly into pan. Sprinkle chopped fruit evenly over top, and then sprinkle granulated sugar over everything.

7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until top is puffed and pancake is set. (My pancake did not brown on top, as the original recipe noted, but did brown around the edges.)

8. Cool in skillet for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Storage: Like most soufflé-related baked goods, this pancake won’t keep nicely and is best served on the day it’s made.

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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.