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A sweet Easter breakfast: Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes

April 7, 2007

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My husband is a pancake maniac.

This is not really a “problem” per se, but his obsession is starting to affect me. I used to be a salty, eggs-and-bacon kind of breakfast gal. I loved omeletes, eggs benedict, home fries and loads of breakfast meats. Now, though, I find myself craving his delicious and varied pancake offerings… Good old fashioned Aunt Jemima pancakes (a household staple), spicy orange ricotta pancakes, and now zesty and sweet Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes.

This issue reached its zenith when I was big and pregnant and banned from eating sweets. I could eat as much savory breakfast as I craved… Problem was, I wanted pancakes. So, truth be told, I ate some. But in keeping with the doctor’s orders, I ate them without syrup. That’s right: Plain old pancakes, nothing doing. Just their sweet, pancake-y selves.

Now, despite the fact that I am at last permitted to drown my pancakes in syrup, I find that I’m a pancake purist. I don’t need no stinkin’ syrup. Especially not for these Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes. They are sweet, citrus-y and delicious. The pancake itself is thick and hearty — not a wimpy, thin flapjack. When you fork through its fragrant, light exterior you might even catch a waft of lemony goodness. And the ricotta in the recipe adds a depth of flavor and richness that will make a pancake lover swoon.

My husband suggests that you make these Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes for Easter breakfast. Good advice, of course. But frankly these ‘cakes are delicious any time and for any occassion… with or without syrup.

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Backgrounder…

While Easter morning could never compare with Christmas, I likely have almost as many fond childhood memories of it. Easter morning typically began with hunting the eggs made the day before, then a small gift, and finally brunch with my brother and mother. Typically, brunch was pancakes. It was those sort of family moments that began my love affair with pancakes at an early age. I love pancakes. They may be the perfect breakfast.

And these Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are certainly perfect for tomorrow morning. Here in DC at least, it has suddenly turned frigid and our beautiful flowering trees have been covered with snow. At times like these, a reminder of warmer weather is great. Meyer lemons provide that sense of season and a sweetness that is delicious — whether it’s sunshine or snow.

The technique here is very simple. Like other quick breads (e.g. cupcakes or muffins), it’s about the wet and dry ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients separately and then mix them together right before cooking. Be careful not to overstir, as you are going for a light pancake. Making a smooth batter will result in thick, heavy, gluten-filled pancakes that will stick to your ribs and the pit of your stomach. So, be delicate.

Finally, two admissions. First, I have an obsession with meyer lemons. I’ve used them more than any single ingredient on this blog. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to try and convince everyone I know who lives in a subtropical area to plant a tree for me. There is something about their sweetness, fragrance and flavor that has made them an absolute favorite of mine. I’m not ashamed… I just think it was time to admit that my passion for this little fruit is a borderline obsession.

Second, for long-time readers of the blog, you might recognize this recipe as a variation on another pancake recipe I posted last fall — Orange Ricotta Pancakes. That recipe is fantastic as well, but with its spices it speaks more to fall and winter flavors. But if that sounds more up your alley, try that recipe as well!

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Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes
Yield
: Ten to twelve 4-inch pancakes
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 20 min.
Ingredients
Wet
:
2 meyer lemons (juice and zest)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla

Dry
:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:
1. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.

2. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry. Using a rubber spatula or large spoon, mix until all of the dry stuff is wet and there are no large lumps. Tons of little lumps are great and expected; they should be viewed as a sign of not overmixing. Don’t stir this until it’s smooth; this will result in a chewier, bread-like pancake. Let the batter rest for about 5 min before cooking. Add more milk a tablespoon at a time if the batter becomes too thick.

3. Place a non-stick griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or non-stick spray. Once the surface is hot, pour about a quarter cup of mixture onto the pan.

NOTE: You can tell how hot the griddle is by throwing a few drops of water on the surface. If the water dances — it shimmers and shakes — then it is hot enough. If the water sizzles fast and evaporates quickly, the griddle is too hot. Turn it down and let it cool. If you use butter, it should bubble and then leave a shean on the surface.

4. Cook pancakes about 4 minutes on one side. There are two visual cues to look for when the pancake is ready to flip. First, the amount of darkness on the side facing down. If it is starting to turn to a dark brown, go ahead and flip it. Second, check for bubbles on the side facing up. If you have the right temperature, bubbles will form. When they begin to set and are slow to disappear, the pancake is ready for turning. They should cook about 75% on the first side. Once flipped, cook them for another minute until both sides are brown.

5. Serve them right away, or cover with a towel and place in a warm oven until ready. Top with powdered sugar and pecans and eat with or without syrup. Enjoy!

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33 comments

  1. I am really late for this but : congartulations on the birth of your son Jack. He is just gorgeous. Hope everything is going smooth.
    Now on to these lovely pancakes: the day I find Meyer lemons here I am making these first. I have so many recipes for Meyer lemons and not one in sight….sigh!
    Great recipe!


    • Hi ,
      I find myself also obsessed with Myer lemons.I found a wonderful looking recipe for Meyer Lemon coffee cake in a Martha Stewart magazine. Alas here in Canada ,they are nowhere to be found. I decided to order a tree and wait for the fruit to grow. Well, it has taken about 4 months ,but finally I am in possession of my own little tree!!
      I was sooo lucky to get it. Having waited patiently at one nursery who were having difficulty in sourcing one .On a whim I called another Nursery and they said they were also having difficulties getting them across the border.Then the lady was moving stock around to make room for Poinsettas and lo and behold , there was my little tree all by itself waiting to be picked up. Later , someone else called looking for one !! I feel like it was meant to be. At last after many months of searching. Now I will wait patiently for the tree to bear fruit which i`m sure won`t be long .There are many flower buds and even a few tiny lemons. Patience!!!!


      • I too have been looking for Meyer Lemons for a while, and have finally found them at Longos in Toronto/Markham. They come in 6/bag. Check out your local stores, maybe Sobeys? as I suspect lots of us in Canada are asking for them.


  2. Oh my gosh, these pancakes sound fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe – can’t wait to try them.


  3. Perfect! Just perfect!

    Will you adopt me? I could babysit Jack…


  4. We made these pancakes this morning for breakfast, along with these eggs:

    http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/breakfast_scrambled.shtml

    Both recipes were awesome! Will definitely make them again. Thanks! (Oh, and we didn’t have Meyer lemons but used regular and they still turned out perfect.)


  5. Where did you get the Meyer lemons in the D.C. area?


  6. Madam Chow–I can get these at any of the higher end grocers like Whole Foods or Balducci’s. But these particular ones came from my local Harris Teeter.


  7. and you can get more “perfume” from the Meyer lemon zest if you have time to throw it in a food processor with the sugar and give it a whirl. a great trick whenever you’re using citrus zest.

    I agree that syrup, which is so sweeet, can mask the sublety of something like Meyer lemon flavor. These sound gorgeous indeed!


  8. Your pancakes look just heavenly – perfect for an Easter morning! I’m going to be making ricotta cheese and will definitely make these pancakes with it.


  9. We just got a Meyer lemon tree for our yard. Now if I can ever get it to bear some fruit, I know what I will use them for! Thanks for a unique Easter recipe. We had eggs with ham (yawn).


  10. those look absolutely fantastic.
    i believe this means i’ll have to scour the market for meyer lemons!

    cheers.


  11. […] AND yummy. First I tried buttermilk pancakes. They turned out really flat and heavy. Then I tried a ricotta pancake with lemon and boy did it taste good, but it sure looked crummy. It wasn’t as fluffy as much as I would […]


  12. Congratulations on the birth of your son! I have really enjoyed reading your blog and am looking forward to trying the pancakes. I have two young sons of my own who are pancake lovers, and I think they will love these! Thanks for sharing.


  13. No baby pictures?
    *holds out hope*


  14. These sound wonderful! We don’t have meyer lemons here but we have the BEST fresh ricotta so I’ll have to make these before the ricotta ‘season’ here is over! Maybe I’ll use half lemon/half orange juice since I don’t have the Meyers. I’ll let you know when I try them!


  15. Wonderful pancake!
    and Thanks for recipe.


  16. I know you guys must be incredibly busy with the new baby, but i wanted to let you know you are being missed in the community! take care!


  17. just whipped up a batch of this this morning. Yum-E!


  18. Hi,

    Just wanted to tell you how much I share your love of all things Meyer. I went so far as to plant 40 trees in my backyard and harvested our first crop this past winter. If you ever need any lemons, drop by our lemonade stand at http://www.lemonladies.com

    Wonderful recipe btw!
    Karen Morss
    The Lemon Lady


  19. LOVE EM! I made these for my wife for her first Mother’s Day on Sunday and we just devoured them. I also served them up with a fresh berry compote on the side. Quite lovely. Thanks for the recipe.


  20. Why is the lemon picture covering the top of the recipe?


  21. […] I’ve been trying to finish, and CRASH so that I can get up early and make my guys some yummy lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast! […]


  22. i have not made these yet, but beleive me, i will! pancakes are one of my all time favourite foods and im chuffed i stumbled upon your website. yu-um.

    and i think all your photographs are wonderful.
    thanks again.


  23. We made these and they were delicious.


  24. […] those things so trendy? I’m def behind the ball on this one, but I am seeing them in every other recipe I read lately. What’s so special about them? […]


  25. […] Cranberry Cake Lemon Cheesecake French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon Lemon Muffins with Pudding Mix Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes Butterscotchy Lemon Curd Cake Lemon Curd Cake Lemon Curd Butter Crunch Lemon-Cheese […]


  26. […] at the food he makes, and I eat            A sweet Easter breakfast: Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes My husband is a pancake maniac. This is not really a “problem” per se, but his […]


  27. Adding my vote for seriously phenomenal pancakes. Bravo!!!


  28. Omit the sugar and you have “CALCIONI DI RICOTTA RUSTICI” from my part of Italy, L’Aquila (Abbruzzo e Molise”, where they are eaten at any time.
    One thing though: we use lard or olive oil, not butter, for just about anything.
    Add to this recipe one of the following: prosciutto or scamorza. Serve with baby artichokes, sweetbreads,cauliflower or, my favorite, fried brains “a la francaise.”


  29. I made these for Sunday breakfast and my boyfriend claimed these were the best pancakes he’s ever had in his life. He also said he wasn’t just saying that to be nice – he meant it.


  30. This recipe is the BEST, We did a twist and used the same recipe and made WAFFLES! We have a large commercial grade waffle baker and they came out wonderful! I had read so much about “Meyer Lemons” from making Jellies and Jams had to try it,–WOW, first prize, can’t wait till next year for the lemons! P.S. We live in Colorado :>)


  31. Your husband’s spicy orange ricotta pancakes sound wonderful.
    Would he care to share the recipe?



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