Lemons are usually a peripheral fruit–they’re in everything–but rarely a featured ingredient. But with the tang and sour of everyday lemons and a slightly sweet juicy flesh, Meyer lemons are special, and well-worthy of a starring role. Combined with the quiet sweetness of fresh ricotta, and a drizzle of maple syrup, the lemon flavor shines in these airy and tender pancakes.
The ricotta pancake is illusive. Hardly a cake, it’s more like cheese lightly held together with some flour. Cooking these pancakes is a delicate process, and they continue to set up once removed from the pan. If you are unsure, give yourself a little extra time and a few test cakes to see how best to cook them on your surface. Preheating the skillet or griddle helps to make sure the heat is consistent.
Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
big pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/3 cups firm ricotta
4 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest (roughly 2 lemons worth)
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
butter for frying the pancakes
Preheat your skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and then add the ricotta, juice and zest. In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the cheese mixture into the flour and stir just until combined. Then gently fold in the egg whites, making sure they are evenly dispersed in the batter.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees with an oven-proof platter inside. Add a pat of butter to the skillet or griddle, and gentle pour 1/3 cup of batter for each cake. Cook the cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the edges are a deep golden brown. Place the cooked cakes in the oven until you are ready to serve.
Serve the pancakes dusted with confectioners sugar or warm maple syrup and a Meyer lemon wedge.