I had some leftover whole milk ricotta in my fridge that needed to be used. (I made and froze another Orange Ricotta Cheesecake for my husband's upcoming birthday...mmm, can't wait! I think it's going to be even better than last time!)
How could I use the remaining 1/2 cup of ricotta? I settled on pancakes.
I hardly ever make pancakes anymore because my kids have become accustomed to eating waffles and waffles only. My little guy brings me the waffle iron almost every day at 6:00 AM sharp followed by the bottle of maple syrup.
We like big breakfasts. At least three or four times a week I make a hot breakfast for my husband and kids. My husband prefers savory breakfasts to sweet. My kids and I are the opposite--sweet it is!
These experimental pancakes were a good compromise. The pancakes themselves are not too sweet, of course you could add more sugar to your own tastes. The lemon curd is tart and sweet, and it marries perfectly with the tangy creme fraiche (or sour cream).
The texture was a little different than I expected--but not in a bad way. Next time I need to make sure to use a really light hand when mixing the wet and dry ingredients. They weren't quite rubbery, but another couple of stirs and they sure would have been.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1-2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For lemon curd:
Juice and zest of 2 lemon
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup or more Creme fraiche or sour cream (creme fraiche is the best choice!)
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk the ricotta, eggs and lemon zest until creamy. Slowly add the milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir, leaving the batter lumpy. Gently fold in the melted butter. (Don't overmix or your pancakes will be rubbery!)
Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle to about 400 degrees F, brush with canola oil or butter. Ladle about 1/3-1/2 cup of the batter onto the griddle. When the pancakes have started to bubble and set around the edges, flip them over with a large spatula. Cook the pancakes for another minute or two, until the center is set and they are cooked throughout.
For lemon curd: (make this ahead of time)
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. In separate bowl, grate lemon peel and squeeze juice from lemon. Add sugar and eggs. Whisk to combine. Add the melted butter to bowl, and pour everything back into the pan. Over medium heat, whisk the lemon curd constantly until it thickens--sort of like a thin pudding--about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Strain lemon curd over a clean bowl with a fine mesh strainer. (I find this removes the white things from the whole eggs as well as the zest. I prefer a smooth lemon curd. But, if you would rather skip this step, it's totally okay.) Enjoy warm or cold!
Place a pancake on a plate, top with a bit of lemon curd and a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.
Makes about 6-8 (4-5") pancakes, enough to feed 4.
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