Calling all pancake lovers: These are something special.
I’ve been wanting to make lemon ricotta poppy seed pancakes for a while, but I keep falling back on my tried-and-true pancake recipe. This morning, though, I didn’t have to work, so I decided to finally take the plunge.
I was not disappointed. The pancakes were light, fluffy and had the perfect amount of lemon. The poppy seeds give the cakes a little crunch, and the slightly sour ricotta balances the sugar.
The most labor-intensive part of the recipe is beating the egg whites. I have an (unhealthy) obsession with eggs, so I didn’t mind separating the yolks from the whites. But my arm started to get tired whisking the whites and I gave up toward the end. The good news is, this didn’t ruin the end product. The recipe called for “soft peaks” in the whites, but if you stop a bit short, the pancakes will still turn out well.
I will definitely revisit this recipe in the future…whether it’s a lazy Sunday morning or a rare day off work.
Lemon Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes (slightly adapted from here)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating the frying pan and serving
1 cup almond milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon packed finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 to 3 medium lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
3/4 cup part-skim milk ricotta cheese
Blueberries and maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Place butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until butter has melted; remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; set aside.
Place egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in a quarter of the milk-butter mixture (this will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling), then whisk in the remaining milk-butter mixture until smooth.
Add the reserved flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not over mix); set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks (they should bend like soft-serve ice cream; make sure the bowl and whisk are perfectly clean with no traces of grease, or the whites will not whip properly). Halfway through whisking them, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using the rubber spatula, fold the whites into the reserved batter until just combined.
Gently fold the ricotta into the batter, being careful not to break down the texture of the cheese (the batter will be lumpy and streaked with ricotta). Fold in the poppy seeds. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan, griddle, or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot, about 4 minutes. Test to see if the pan is hot enough by sprinkling a couple of drops of cold water in it: If the water bounces and sputters, the pan is ready to use.
Lightly coat the pan’s surface with butter, then use a 1/4-cup measure to scoop the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles form on top of the pancakes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with blueberries and maple syrup.