I love pancakes. Actually, more broadly, I love brunch. By its very design, brunch is like giving yourself permission to slow down. It's a later in the day meal, shared with friends, meant to be lingered over, and often involves a drink. Friends, slowing down, and a well made drink--my favorite things. I love that in New York brunch is something you 'do,' and that in Brooklyn the relaxed pace makes it possible without an oppressively long wait. I love that it's a reliable fall-back idea: Can't think of what to do? Let's do brunch. I also really do love brunch food more than most other meals of the day. Eggs, omelets, frittatas, bacon, and pancakes. And I do love pancakes.
I actually consider pancakes a 'bridge' food. They aren't great for having friends over for brunch (standing at the stove making batches does not a happy hostess make) but they do require a certain amount of extra time to prepare and cook. I also don't, as a rule, order pancakes out--I usually find them dry, and restaurants almost never have real maple syrup. Thus, they're good for the "slow down" part of brunch, but closer to an every day food. Growing up my parents didn't make pancakes, they made crepes, which we called "clipes." We only ate them with maple syrup (which had to be real, no Mrs. Butterworth in our house), and they were a frequent weekend treat. The whole concept of savory crepes still kind of confuses me and I've yet to try them. Since I started cooking for myself (and DP) I've had to try to find my own "go to" pancake recipe. Crepes, unfortunately, are too eggy for DP. While that is something of a bummer, it has given me an excuse to experiment and go searching for the "perfect" pancake recipe.
I think I may have found my "favorite" pancake. It is moist, light, substantive (some pancake recipes, I have found, are too light), and has a great lemony flavor. I made these for DP's birthday and I look forward to enjoying them for many brunches to come.
Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
adapted from Epicurious
4 lg eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated lemon zest
1/2 cup all purpose flour
In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta, sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour, stir until just combined. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture until combined. Melt a small pat of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until bubbling. Pour the batter into the skillet in 1/4 cup measures. Scatter blueberries into pancakes. Once you see bubbles forming on surfaces of the pancakes, flip (1-2 minutes per side). Cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve with maple syrup and extra blueberries.