These light and fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes are accompanied by an easy blackberry sauce. Freeze the leftovers for pancakes anytime!
Note to readers: this lemon ricotta pancakes recipe was one of the first posts I published on Katiebird Bakes, and it holds a special place in my heart because the day I published this recipe (January 29, 2017) was the day I made my little blog public for the first time.
My photography and recipe development skills have come a long way in the 2+ years since this post was first published (thanks in great part to Foodtography School (affiliate link)), so I thought it was time for a makeover. While looking at the old photos makes me cringe, it also reminds me of just how far I’ve come – so if you want to see where I started, I left one of the original photos at the end of the post.
A lot of people like to talk about their productivity hacks or time blocking or ability to wake up at 3am to work on their side hustle, but for me it has honestly just been about showing up for at least a few minutes every day, even if only to post on Instagram or listen to a podcast about blogging. Doing a little bit every day adds up over time.
None of us (that I know of) are superhuman, and in order to keep going and not burn out we have to do what works for us. For me, this has meant weeks at a time where I do not post, late nights writing and editing when I feel the energy (but many spent watching Netflix when I don’t), weekends mostly taken up by baking and photography, and as a result, letting this blog’s growth be slow and (hopefully) steady, rather than meteoric.
I’m leaving the text of the original post below, although the photos and the recipe itself have been updated. This blog is a work in progress, as all human things must be, and I appreciate every moment you spend on it with me. Thank you for being here!
First – welcome to everyone who is new here! I’m finally making the blog public with this post. Building this blog has been a labor of love over the past few months, and I’m excited for you to click around and explore my recipes and the tools and pans I use in my tiny apartment kitchen here in Chicago. I have many more recipes in the works for you. Suffice it to say, we’re going to be doing quite a lot of brunching together.
Didn’t this feel like a really long week? It definitely did for me, and not just because of the what-is-happening-in-our-country-this-week reason.
My reason is much dumber. I haven’t been able to look at a screen for more than a couple minutes at a time all week because I had a concussion from — wait for it — hitting my head on the freezer door.
Yeah. Least exciting reason for a concussion, ever. Of all the ways to get a concussion, mine would happen in the kitchen as a direct result of my own clumsiness.
Part of recovering means I can’t concentrate on a screen (phone, computer, TV) for more than a few minutes before getting a headache and feeling dizzy. Do you know how many hours you spend looking at a screen every day? I sure didn’t until I couldn’t look at one.
The past few days, my husband has been scolding me every time he sees me staring at Instagram on my phone, and sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it until it’s already in my hand! I realize now what should have been obvious: all day long, and all night long, I am staring at screens. In fact, I didn’t even know what to DO that didn’t involve looking at a screen.
Read a physical book, you say. Well, I tried that – but even that made my head hurt after a while.
The obvious solution was to test a whole bunch of recipes, writing them down on in a notebook (gasp) rather than on my laptop. It’s a whole new world for me. I actually kind of like it. I forgot how nice it is to feel the weight of a pen in your hand and write out something that is uniquely yours, in your own script.
I also started reading magazines at night that had just sat on our coffee table for ages. It’s oddly calming to just sit and focus on one thing. Isn’t it sad that it feels strange to not be receiving constant notifications and reminders while I read something?
This dumb concussion may be the universe telling me to slow down a little, both in my head and my life. These days, it’s so rare that I step back and just enjoy being in a moment, whether it’s breakfast or walking somewhere or working out or even reading a book. I always feel like I need to be checking something – my email, the news, Instagram, etc. Maybe I will make my nightly screen-free time an always thing!
One thing we should never be distracted during is brunch. Brunch is my favorite meal because it’s a time when you are allowed, even encouraged, to slow down and to linger with great company (preferably, phone-free). Have that third cup of coffee. Have a fifth pancake. Top it all off with a mimosa or bloody Mary, because it’s the weekend and we do what we want. That’s how the best brunches should be.
Lemon ricotta pancakes are such an indulgence, and perfect for the dead of winter when citrus is the only bright flavor in a sea of heavy foods. I paired them with a quick and easy blackberry sauce, since I saw some gorgeous berries at Trader Joe’s. Not going to ask where those berries came from in January.
The sauce is simple: just boil blackberries with sugar, a bit of lemon juice, and some cornstarch until thickened. You can do this while you’re flipping the pancakes and it will be done in about the same amount of time. It should coat the back of a spoon when it’s done, like this:
The pancakes themselves are easy to whip up too. The ricotta adds lightness and fluffiness to the pancake, and a punch of protein too. I added baking powder, just to ensure they would be super fluffy. I’m not a big fan of flat pancakes.
I use this griddle pan to make my pancakes. It spans two burners so it can make about six 4-inch pancakes at a time – which means you can have a full plate of pancakes ready to go in about 10 minutes. That so beats flipping two at a time in a little skillet!
Heck yes. Grab a stack and be generous with the blackberry sauce! I topped mine with a little powdered sugar too. I love how the sweet berries contrast with the light lemon ricotta pancakes. Perfect with a large mug of coffee and a lazy morning. This is what all weekends should be like.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce
For Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, separated whites and yolks
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup milk (yogurt works too)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from the same 3 lemons)
For Blackberry Sauce
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Pancakes:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Separate egg whites and yolks; place whites in another clean medium bowl, and place yolks in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the large bowl with the yolks and whisk together until smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed. Do not over-mix.
- With a hand mixer, or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form, 3-5 minutes depending on the speed (for photos of the different stages of egg whites, see this post).
- Fold the egg whites into the batter with a spatula gently until there are no streaks of white. Batter will be fluffy!
- Heat a griddle pan or large skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or oil and drop batter by 1/4 cup measure onto the hot griddle. Cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook 2-3 minutes more or until golden. Remove to a large plate.
- Repeat with remaining batter until no batter remains. Serve warm with the blackberry sauce.
For the Blackberry Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and keep stirring and crushing the berries with a wooden spoon for about 5-8 minutes, until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Keep warm and serve with the pancakes.
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April 11, 2019 Note:
Below is one of the old photos from this post in 2017, which I left for reference so you can see how far my photography has come in 2 years’ time. Photography is a constant work in progress, more of a journey than a destination, but I was helped along greatly by enrolling in Foodtography School (affiliate link) in 2018. They offer courses for beginners up through advanced food photographers, with courses in iPhone photography and restaurant photography as well. It was totally worth the investment for me — in fact, I just signed up for the advanced course to continue working on my skills. I hope it’s a valuable resource for you as well!
Here it is: