Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Do you know Flavia of Flavia’s Flavors? I know I say this about everyone, but she is so SWEET!  And she has an amazing blog. Is anyone catching on to a trend here?

Take a peek at Flavia’s wonderful Italian food:

Cicerchiata
Pizelle
Apricot Crostata
Italian Pastry Ring
Almond Torta with Chocolate Chips 

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Buon giorno! My name is Flavia and I blog over at Flavia’s Flavors. I was so flattered and excited when Rachel invited me to participate in this month’s pancake party. Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods and I have always loved how versatile they are. I do not make pancakes too often since they are rather indulgent, but they do make an appearance at least twice a month in our house, normally on weekends when life slows down a little and we find ourselves with more time to relax and savor a leisurely morning.

Although my family and I ate mostly traditional Italian food, we also made and ate several American recipes, pancakes being one of them. Every time we had a friend or family member visiting from Italy, we would make pancakes for weekend breakfasts and they would instantly fall in love with them. After all, what’s not to love about pancakes?

For my contribution to this month’s Pancake Party, I decided to give this very American breakfast food a bit of an Italian twist by adding ricotta cheese and freshly grated lemon zest to the batter. I have never made Lemon Ricotta pancakes before and have always been curious to try them. Italians use fresh lemons and lemon zest in many different recipes, both savory and sweet, and I love the way lemon zest perfumes food with its bright, citrusy flavor.

Ricotta cheese is also used in both savory and sweet recipes. I love it so much, I often eat it plain, straight out of the container. It makes a wonderful spread on top of crostini, is an essential component for the filling of ravioli, pairs especially well with greens such as spinach or Swiss chard, and is used in one of my favorite Italian desserts, torta di ricotta {ricotta cake}. I have also used ricotta to make cheesecake, which adds a fluffy texture to the batter. The word ricotta in Italian means “re-cooked”, and as the translation suggests, it is the result of when the whey {the watery remains of cheese-making} is cooked again until thickened into a soft, white and mild-tasting cheese. Because of its mild flavor, ricotta is versatile, which is why it can be used in both savory and sweet recipes.

The combination of lemon zest and ricotta in these pancakes is delightful. Although ricotta cheese is fairly dense, once it is mixed into the batter with other ingredients, it dissolves and the pancakes turn out light and airy, scented throughout with the bright flavor of lemon. Instead of drizzling maple syrup over these pancakes, I made a fresh blueberry sauce, which I also accented with a small amount of lemon zest. The blueberry sauce complemented the flavor of the pancakes wonderfully without adding too much sweetness.

These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce are an American breakfast classic with Italian flair! Buon appetito!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Food Network

¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Vegetable oil, for griddle

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine and set aside. In another bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk gently until just combined.

Heat a non-stick griddle over medium heat and coat lightly with vegetable oil. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/3 cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook on both sides until golden brown. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a parchment-lined baking sheet until all the pancakes have been made.

Tip: If you need to keep the pancakes warm until you are ready to serve them, heat the oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off. Keep the baking sheet of pancakes in the warmed oven until ready to serve.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat until the sauce bubbles gently and reduces slightly. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before serving. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

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Aren’t these just the most perfect pancakes? My mother-in-law had similar pancakes at a restaurant and never stopped raving about them. I’ll have to try this recipe out on her.

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12 comments

  1. These sound so lovely Flavia! I had some similar pancakes on holiday last year and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them – now I can recreate them in my own kitchen!

  2. lovely photographs! I love this combination of flavours!

  3. Lemon + Blueberries are a match made in heaven. Can’t wait to try this!!

  4. Mmmm…I love all things lemon/blueberry. These sound delicious!

  5. I think I may try this sauce next time instead of putting the berries in the cakes!

  6. These look fantastic!! I love the ricotta/lemon/blueberries combination!!

  7. Nice to meet you, Rachel! Flavia, these are the pancakes of my dreams :).

  8. I have been running around all week like the proverbial chicken with it’s head cut off and am just sitting down to read all of your sweet comments–thank you! Grazie! From the bottom of my Italian, pancake-loving heart! xo Flavia

  9. Flavia, those look so light and fluffy. I didn’t know about the meaning of ricotta…I always learn something from you!

  10. the pancake look so good

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