2.18.14 Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blood Oranges and Honey
Pancakes are one of those things I used to never want to cook. Sure, they seem easy at first. Mixing up the batter is a cinch, and all is looking good until you go to cook them. This was always my downfall. The batter would run together, my flips would be messy, and in the end, instead of lovely, fluffy, golden discs of pancakey deliciousness, I would end up with some odd looking amorphous blobs of dough (they were still usually delicious though). For a while, this wasn’t too big of a problem, because growing up, my Dad was the primary pancake cooker in our house, and he has some solid pancake skills. This meant that, at home, I rarely had to make any attempts at pancake cookery, which was fine by me.
And then, I moved off to college and was left to fend for myself on the pancake front. Which was less than great, because, as a college student with no money, pancakes were one of the best, cheapest things to cook. So I decided that I would have to learn to cook pancakes like a pro. I’d like to say that I was successful (I’ve definitely improved), but I owe a great deal of my pancake cookery skills to a trick I discovered.
You see, for me, the problem was always too much batter. When you have a thinner batter, what looks like a small pancake at first, spreads out and you end up with a much bigger pancake, which is difficult to flip. Not only that, but if you’re really unlucky, your pancake batter runs into the pancake batter blob next to it, and you end up with one giant super-pancake. And I know from experience that flipping one of these is nearly impossible. The solution then? Use thicker batter! And the easiest way to do that is to replace the liquid in the batter with something thicker, such as yogurt or ricotta cheese. Voila! No more runny batter! Each pancake stays exactly the same size as it was when you dropped the batter onto the griddle. And did I mention how tasty a pancake made with yogurt or ricotta is? That extra tang just makes it that much better.
And so, with the pancake problem solved, cooking up a nice batch of pancakes is a much more enjoyable endeavor for me. Especially these pancakes, made with ricotta and fresh lemon zest, and a lovely topping of blood oranges and honey. Because in the dead of winter, there are few things that can brighten up one’s day like some fresh citrus. And on a snowy winter morning, is there really anything better than a warm stack of pancakes? Probably, but far be it for me to figure out what that is.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blood Oranges and Honey
makes about 4 medium sized pancakes
- 2 blood oranges, segmented
- 1 Tbsp blood orange juice (squeeze from orange core after segmenting)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Combine the blood orange segments, juice, honey, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine. Let sit while you prepare the pancakes.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a larger bowl, mix together the ricotta, milk, egg, olive oil, and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture, and stir together until a batter is formed (batter will be thick).
4. Heat a griddle over medium high heat. Spoon pancake batter onto griddle in circular shapes (should be able to cook two pancakes at a time) and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.
5. Serve pancakes immediately topped with the blood orange mixture and a dusting of powdered sugar if desired.