These pancakes, based on a recipe from chef April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig and The Breslin in NYC), are made from fresh homemade ricotta cheese. Light as air…and really delicious! I made my first-ever batch of homemade ricotta cheese the other day, following a recipe from Iron Chef Michael Symon. He used lemon juice and zest in the recipe, which gave the cheese a stronger lemon profile than I had hoped for. But once I realized I could use that ricotta in a pancake, the lemon flavor really took the pancakes to a whole new level.
I use raw milk for my ricotta cheese. It’s not available here in Rhode Island, but it is in neighboring Massachusetts. If you can’t find raw milk, use organic milk. Just avoid anything that is ultra-pasteurized.
1.2 gallon of raw milk
juice and zest of 8 small organic lemons
In a saucepan, heat the milk to 180 degrees. Remove from the heat. Add lemon juice and zest, salt and sugar. Stir once and then let it sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the curds (solids) and whey (liquid) into a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Discard the whey, if you choose, then place the remaining cheese in the fridge overnight to further continue drippage.
The next morning, the ricotta is ready to use!
Once you have the fresh ricotta, it’s time to put these beautiful rustic pancakes together…
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups milk
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta, and egg yolks. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold gently into the batter.
Spray a non-stick griddle with a little cooking spray and drop about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side, until golden and fluffy.