Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote and Candied Walnuts

These light and fluffy ricotta pancakes border on soufflé-like and are so moist they don’t even need syrup, especially when accompanied by the mixed berry compote. The addition of the ricotta doesn't make the pancakes taste "cheesy" but instead they are rich and creamy. (Ricotta is a mild soft cheese with a slightly sweet flavor.) Plus I love the crunch and added sweetness from the walnuts on top. It might be a little extra work to separate the eggs and beat the whites but the effort is worth it for how fluffy these pancakes are.

 

Ingredients:

For the mixed berry compote:

½ cup orange juice

3 tablespoons honey

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1 cup raspberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch

 

For the candied walnuts:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup walnut halves and pieces

¼ cup granulated sugar

 

For the lemon ricotta pancakes:

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup whole milk

3 eggs, yolks and whites separated

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Juice from 1 medium lemon

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

Vegetable spray, as needed

 

Instructions:

For the mixed berry compote:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the orange juice and the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the blueberries and blackberries and cook until the berries are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the raspberries and stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with 1½ tablespoons of water until combined to make a slurry. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture until thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes.

 

For the candied walnuts:

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, add butter and allow to melt. Add the walnuts and the granulated sugar and stir to combine. Stir frequently until the sugar has melted and the walnuts are coated in the mixture, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and immediately separate the nuts. Let the coating harden, this will take about 5 minutes then set aside. Break apart the pieces if necessary.

 

For the lemon pancakes:

Preheat oven to 250º.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until thoroughly combined. In another medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and stir into the ricotta mixture until just combined.

In another medium mixing bowl use a whisk or stand mixer to beat the egg whites until frothy and stiff peaks are formed. Use a spoon to gently fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture until just combined.

Heat a griddle or large non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Spray the pan with vegetable spray and ladle about 1/3 batter onto the pan, working in batches. Cook until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown and bubbles form on the top, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook until browned and just cooked through about an additional minute.

To keep the pancakes warm until serving, place on a baking sheet and warm in the oven.

 

For serving:

Divide the pancakes among warmed plates and top with a scoop of the warm berry compote. Serve immediately.

 

Makes about 8 to 10 pancakes.

 

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