Before there were food blogs, before there was allrecipes.com, before the cyber world has made almost every recipe available with just a click or a tap of a finger, there was the good old newspaper. Back when I was not yet obsessed about collecting cookbooks and browsing through Pinterest, newspapers and magazines were major sources of new food inspiration. I would read through international news and American politics (my favourite topics) over my lunch break and leave the restaurant review and feature recipe last. If the recipe is worth clipping (ancient vernacular for Pinning), I would either photocopy it or cut it just before the end of the work day so that I know everyone has had a chance to enjoy the communal newspaper. I try out the recipe and if it’s any good, I file it in my handy recipe keeper.
One such successful find is the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes submitted by Paula Bowman and featured in Metro news on April 1, 2010. It was a great hit with my family except for one, my critic, my husband. To him, it was too rich and more like a cake cake than a pancake. But I love the flavour combination of the citrus and the ricotta cheese so I made minor adjustments to cater to my husband’s taste. Who was it that said “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”?
If you have no other critic but your sweet tooth to please and would like to try Ms. Bowman’s recipe (which I really enjoy), go here.
Otherwise, here is my lighter but no less delicious version (I used blood orange because it is in season right now but tangerine or navel oranges will work just as well):
Blood Orange Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one blood orange
1 cup fresh ricotta (1% milk fat if you prefer a lighter version)
3/4 cup milk (again 1% if you want a healthier pancake)
3 eggs separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil to grease the pan or griddle
1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Combine the ricotta cheese, egg yolks, milk, zest and vanilla extract. Stir until you have a smooth batter. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
3. Using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. (Check Baking Bites if you are like me and often forget the difference between soft and medium peaks.)
4. Temper the yolk mixture with the beaten egg whites by folding a small scoop of the white into the yolk mixture. Fold the remaining egg whites into the yolk mixture in two batches. Fold until just blended.
5. Prepare a rack over a cookie sheet and set aside. Preheat the oven at 150°F.
6. Preheat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-low heat and brush with oil. Cooking in batches, ladle 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Cook until the underside is golden brown, flip the cake and repeat until cooked. Place the pancakes over the prepared rack and keep warm in the oven until the remaining batches are cooked.
Serve with maple syrup and slices of blood orange.