Happy weekend! It’s finally here. We deserve brunch.
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.
(Jump to Recipe)
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 water, 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 lemony pancakes. Perfect with a large mug of coffee and a lazy morning. This is what all weekends should be like.
Light, fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes and an easy fresh blackberry sauce for your weekend brunch.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or canola oil)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons)
- 3 teaspoons lemon zest (from the same 3 lemons)
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, sugar, eggs, oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Do not overmix! Batter will be thick, and that's just right.
Heat a griddle pan or large skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or oil and drop batter by 1/3 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.
Combine lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until no lumps of cornstarch remain. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and keep stirring and crushing the berries with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice/cornstarch mixture and reduce to a simmer. Stir until the sauce thickens, another 5 minutes or so - it should coat the back of the wooden spoon when it's done. Keep warm and serve with the pancakes.
Loosely adapted from Bobby Flay