Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

A friend and I had been talking of making lemon ricotta pancakes since a while now and last weekend after much procrastination, we finally did.  I would have probably not made this of my own accord since I’ve always been a traditionalist with pancakes (read: chocolate chips and bananas). But the fresh slightly tart taste of lemon, combined with ricotta and a sweet syrup makes for an excellent fluffy pancake! We had these with sauteed Jonagold Apples (Jonagold is of the sweet variety) which perfectly balanced out the tartness of the lemons. And a recipe with just 5 ingredients? Win!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes – Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups ricotta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Melted butter for brushing the pan

Directions:
1. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the ricotta, the sugar, and the zest.

2. Add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined.

3. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks, whisk about one fourth of them into the ricotta mixture, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Lemon ricotta pancakes – flip them over as soon as they start to brown

4. Heat a griddle over moderately heat. Pour 1/4th cup batter into the pan and cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, brushing the griddle with some of the melted butter as necessary. Transfer the pancakes as they are cooked to a heatproof platter and keep them warm in a preheated 150°F oven.

Decadent brunch – Lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples and maple syrup, crepes with dulce de leche. Om nom nom.

Want to have the taste of apple pie as one of your brunch toppings? Try these sauteed apples. Or this decadent dulce de leche.

And if you really love this lemon-ricotta combination, try these lemon ricotta cookies by Giada De Laurentiis

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Best Brunch in New Haven

The Pantry in New Haven seems straight out of an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Tucked away in a corner off of State Street, this treasure is hard to miss on weekends, given the long lines outside the door. After a standard 20-25 minute wait, you walk in but don’t have much time to admire either the jazz posters on the wall or the jazz music playing in the background (one of the 2 owners, Art, is an avid jazz fan) – service is quick and patrons normally rattle off their favorites.

The portions are always generous. All the omelets are made with three eggs (try the spinach and feta) and are served with toast and home fries. Pancakes can be ordered as a stack of three, in either large or small. I personally find it impossible to finish a stack of large pancakes in one sitting, and my favorite ones are banana pancakes, and the cinnamon roll pancakes with cream cheese frosting. Their ‘fancy fresh toast’ is also made with thicker bread and has a light and fluffy texture. However, since it is also thicker, it is best had with some of their in-house maple syrup, which is served on the side for an extra $2, a cost well worth it considering its superior taste over the generic syrup lying on the tables.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

French toast with Sausage

 

My surprising favorite were their home fries – they were well seasoned and topped with green onions. Not too salty, not burnt at all and ever so consistent in their deliciousness. The eggs benedict are also highly recommended, and their version of California Benedict substitutes Canadian bacon with fresh tomatoes and avocado.

California Benedict – English muffins topped with grilled tomatoes and avocado, served with home fries and fresh fruit

Prices are reasonable, and it’s possible to get coffee, juice, a main dish and a side in just $15. However, they only take cash, so be prepared. So the next time you’re looking for a delicious brunch in the area, check out The Pantry at 2 Mechanic St  New Haven, (203) 787-0392

Sunday Brunch I: Pancakes

The only thing better than being able to smell pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning is being able to eat them.  I’ve found that the secret of making any pancake taste good is using brown sugar and vanilla, even if the recipe doesn’t ask for it. My current personal favourite kind of pancakes are banana pancakes. The recipe that I use is as follows:

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar (though you can use white sugar if you don’t have brown sugar)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ripe medium/large bananas, mashed (To prevent making a mess while mashing the bananas, I normally put them in a ziploc bag and then mash them, followed by opening it slightly to pour it into the milk/egg/oil mixture)

Directions

1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.

2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy, so don’t worry if it’s not smooth like normal pancake batter.

3. Melt 1/2 teaspoon butter in a pan (or whatever amount you want, I just generally cook pancakes over butter) over low/middle heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides.

4. Serve with maple syrup (and/or banana slices if you want them there)

Caution: Do not set the stove on high or even medium-high heat for these pancakes because the outside will get cooked quickly, while leaving the lumpy banana portion in the middle uncooked. So cook it over low/low-medium heat so that everything is properly and evenly cooked. Be patient on these ones, they’ll be worth the wait! 🙂

Pancakes with bananas and maple syrup – my favorite combination 🙂

 

My other personal favorite are nutella-filled pancakes (thanks to Owen for bringing my attention to this recipe) – you can access it here. You can pretty much make them with any normal recipe as well – once you pour the batter on to the stove, just add a few dollops of nutella on the batter, spread it out, and then cover it with a light layer of batter. Flip the pancake over once bubbles begin to appear in the batter and your nutella filling will continue to stay intact inside the pancake, instead of coming out. These are probably the only kind of pancakes that I would not use maple syrup with, the nutella is more than enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Have a great start to your Sunday, and stay tuned to why I love the way Turks have their waffles!