Celebrate Pancake Day with Lemon-Ricotta Panckes

Celebrate Pancake Day with Lemon-Ricotta Panckes

It’s Shrove Tuesday, known as pancake day to many, especially in the UK. In America, the day before Ash Wednesday is known as Fat Tuesday. Both references of the day before Ash Wednesday are marked by indulging before the season of Lent, when many Christians refrain from eating or give up certain foods; often meat and sugar laden goodies.

Making pancakes the day before Ash Wednesday was how many would use the eggs, milk and sugar in the house before the season of Lent began, and thus began the tradition. We think pancakes make a fine dinner on a cold and snowy day and these lemon-ricotta pancakes fancy things up a bit, making them fit for dinner.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes With Blueberry Sauce
Makes 12 pancakes Blueberry Sauce

1 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries (defrosted and patted dry)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Canola oil

1. For the Blueberry Sauce: Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a heavy, medium saucepan and stir until blended. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the blueberries and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes.

2. Puree the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain the pureed sauce through a fine-meshed sieve back into the saucepan. Return to medium heat and cook at a simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon. (The sauce can be prepared 3 days ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat when needed.)

3. For the pancakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta, milk, sugar, and lemon zest until well blended. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients.

4. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until they are just firm. Gently stir one-third of the whites into the batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

5. Heat a griddle or a large, heavy frying pan set over medium to medium-low heat until hot, and then brush with just enough canola oil to coat the surface. Working in batches, pour generous 1/4 cup measures of the batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the tops and the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove to a warm platter, and cover loosely with foil. (Do not stack the pancakes or they will steam and become flabby.) Repeat, adding more oil to the griddle until all of the batter has been used

. 6. Arrange three overlapping pancakes on each of four plates, drizzle with some of the warm blueberry sauce and serve.

-“Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes With Blueberry Sauce” from Betty Rosbottom and Susie Cushner’s “Sunday Brunch” (Chronicle Books).


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