Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes make my mouth water just thinking about them. Beckoning sweetly with a luscious creamy richness, they're sure to make any pancake lover swoon with delight. This is by far my favourite pancake; soufflé-like in it's feather lightness, perfumed by bold citrus zest, and sweet enough to be eaten on it's own with nothing but a dusting of powdered sugar or dollop of yoghurt. 
Incredibly light and delicious, these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are like fluffy warm pillows of sunlight — crispy on the outside and delicately creamy on the inside with little melted pockets of fresh ricotta, they're as decadent as having a rich and comforting dessert for breakfast. 

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Makes 6-8 petite pancakes

5 egg yolks

5 egg whites
Zest of a lemon & orange
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/8 tsp vanilla
1 cup cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
Dash of salt
4 tbsp butter

In a large bowl beat the yolks with the sugar, ricotta and citrus zest until it's light and fluffy. 
In a separate bowl, or using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. Then add the vanilla and set aside. Add the dry ingredients and combine with the egg-ricotta mixture, folding together until completely incorporated. Then gently fold in the egg whites.

To cook the pancakes, preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Adding one tablespoon of butter at a time with about 1/4 cup of batter, cook the mini pancakes on each side, flipping once, until golden brown. Serve immediately with a light dusting of powdered sugar and lemon & orange zest. A bowl of crème fraîche, Greek yoghurt or blueberry compote would be absolutely delicious on the side.

Blueberry Compote

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla

Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture thickens, and the blueberries just begin to pop. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, before serving with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Lemon Curd

1/3 cup lemon juice, strained
2 tbsp lemon zest
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, divided into small pats

Fill a small sauce pan 3/4 full of water. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large metal bowl until smooth. Add lemon juice and whisk until it turns a lighter yellow color.

Once the water has come to a simmer, place the metal bowl on top of the sauce pan without the bottom touching the water. Whisk the egg yolk and lemon mixture until it turns a pale yellow, resembling hollandaise sauce, about 7-9 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in the pats of butter one piece at a time. Transfer lemon curd into an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Lemon curd will thicken as it sits in the refrigerator. This can be made a day in advance and will keep for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. This can be served with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes or even scones for afternoon tea.

Orange Butter Sauce

1/2 cup freshly sqeezed orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring to a boil orange juice, sugar, butter, lemon juice and orange zest, stir to help dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 2 to 3 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the Grand Marnier and return to a boil for 20 seconds. Set aside and keep warm over lowest heat possible while making the pancakes.