Lemon ricotta pancakes

Egg whites and ricotta take these pancakes to new heights. Serve them with seasonal summer fruit and honey or syrup and bring a restaurant-style brunch to your kitchen table. 

Beyond the Peel
Ricotta pancakes might sound complicated when you see them on a menu, but they're simple enough to whip up on a weekend at home.

It’s almost impossible not to eat well in the summer. The bounty of fruits and vegetables is endless – all at the height of their flavor. We have been enjoying plums immensely, but today’s breakfast idea will pair great with just about any fruit or berry.

Lemon ricotta pancakes! The ultimate weekend breakfast if you ask me. Fresh seasonal fruit just calls out for ricotta in my opinion.

My first experience with lemon ricotta pancakes was while working for Brad Lazarenko at Culina Restaurant. It was our Saturday brunch special. That was more than 10 years ago now, but the memory of it is still rich in my mind. It’s funny the things we remember.

The thing about ricotta pancakes is I thought it was a complicated process. At the time, at least. I mean, how could anything that good be easy? In fact, it’s ridiculously simple. Ricotta is also easily available at most grocery stores and not that expensive. Really, anyone can enjoy this breakfast for a fraction of what it would cost in a restaurant. You can also pair the leftover ricotta with fresh fruit and berries and some maple syrup or honey and turn it into an amazing dessert.

This recipe is for a smaller portion, since these are really best made fresh. If there are several of you to feed, it’s easy enough to double the recipe!

Lemon ricotta pancakes
Serves 2 or 3

3 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoon coconut/palm sugar (or other dry sweetener of choice like rapadura or turbinado)

3/4 cup of ricotta

1/4 cup flour (I used sprouted spelt, but whole wheat or some other flour would work, too)

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1. Place the egg yolks, ricotta, flour, and lemon zest in a bowl. Mix to incorporate. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Use electric beaters or beat with a whisk by hand. Doing it by hand burns extra calories and builds nice arms muscles! Gently fold in the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.

2. In a large frying pan heat butter or oil over medium high heat. Add small amounts of batter to the frying pan creating small 3-inch pancakes. Once bubbles start to form on the surface of the batter and the bottoms are golden brown, flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until cooked through. The fluffiness of the eggs whites lends to the airiness of these pancakes, but also makes them more delicate to flip than a regular pancake. Be gentle.

3. Serve with honey or maple syrup, Greek yogurt and/or fresh fruit.

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