Ricotta Pancakes – Two Ways
A couple years ago Bob’s parents saw a recipe for ricotta pancakes on Food Network. They made them for us when we were visiting, and they were so good. Several weeks ago I decided I wanted to make some ricotta pancakes. Not sure exactly which recipe they used, I went to the Food Network website. I found this one by Bobby Flay and this one by Giada de Laurentiis. Not able to decide between them, I decided to have a face off between the two recipes. I didn’t make them on the same day, but I’ve included my review of each recipe below. For the Lemon Ricotta pancakes, I made a blackberry syrup, given the recent sales on blackberries. Giada’s Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes come with a recipe for honey syrup, so I made that. While these recipes are quite different, their common ingredient ricotta cheese makes for a nice, airy pancake. I really don’t like dense, heavy pancakes, so this was a big plus in my book. And both pancakes are great served with some delicious Oscar Mayer turkey bacon!
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 cup ricotta cheese 2 eggs 2/3 cup milk 1 lemon, zested and juiced Butter, for griddle Directions:
1. Preheat a nonstick griddle. 2. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, and lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. 3. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. 4. Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook until light and golden. Repeat until no batter remains.
Review: These pancakes cook up light and fluffy. We liked the taste, although the lemon flavor may be a bit too prominent. I knew when I saw nutmeg in this recipe that I should have just omitted it. Nutmeg is fine in apple pie, and I think it’s cute when Bob says to me “You’re a nut, Meg,” but I tend to find it odd in other food. For these pancakes the nutmeg is a bit too over-powering. Maybe cinnamon might have been better, or nothing at all. Overall, we liked these pancakes and I think this recipe has real promise, with a few minor adjustments to suit our preference. To be fair, I did not serve them with the lemon curd and fresh raspberries as Bobby suggests but rather a blackberry syrup (see below).
Source: Bobby Flay
Original recipe: 3 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 1/3 cup water Scaled down: 3/4 cup fresh blackberries 3 Tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, lemon zest, and water. Mix gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. 2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until fruit is soft. 3. While cooking 2-3 minutes more, gently mash fruit against sides of pan with a wooden spoon or a spatula. 4. Cool to lukewarm. If desired, strain syrup by pressing through a fine-mesh sieve. Original recipe reportedly yields 2 cups with pulp, or 1 cup strained syrup.
Review: This syrup was absolutely delicious, but from 3/4 cup fresh blackberries, all I got was what is shown in the picture – about a tablespoon of syrup! This is because I strained out the seeds through a fine-mesh strainer. I think it might be worthwhile to puree the blackberries before heating them up because so much of the possible syrup is lost during straining. Also, I probably could have thinned the syrup with a little more water. It was more like a jam in the end.
Source: Adapted from Cooks.com
Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes
For the honey syrup:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
For the pancakes:
1 2/3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pancake and waffle mix (Giada recommends Krusteaz; I like Aunt Jemima)
1 cup whole milk or part skim ricotta cheese
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
Make the honey syrup: Stir 1/3 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the honey. Set aside and keep the honey syrup warm.
Make the pancakes: 1. Using a rubber spatula, stir 1 2/3 cups water and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the pancake mix and stir until just moistened but still lumpy. 2. Stir in the ricotta to gently incorporate but maintain a lumpy batter. Fold in the blueberries. 3. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Brush with the melted butter. Working in batches, spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup). 4. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Serve with the honey syrup.
Review: I made these for my mom, sister, Bob, and myself, and we all really liked them! Again the ricotta makes for a light and airy pancake (which I love!). If you’ve never had a ricotta pancake before and worry that you will taste cheese, don’t, because you probably would never know there was ricotta in there unless someone told you. All of us thought the honey syrup was a nice change from the typical maple. The blueberries were delicious too. While these pancakes are more ‘semi-homemade’ because of the mix, they take less time to make, which is always a good a thing! Giada recommended Krusteaz mix, so I went with her suggestion. For straight up pancakes and waffles, I like Aunt Jemima’s complete mix because it’s more airy than say Hungry Jack or Bisquick, but I thought that it might end up being too light mixed with the ricotta. I think the important thing is just to use a complete pancake/waffle mix, rather than one that requires other add-ins like eggs.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis
To summarize, although both recipes put up a good fight, we have to declare Giada’s as the winner!!!