Before we moved back to New Mexico, Joe and I had one last breakfast at “First Watch”, one of our favorites. They serve breakfast and lunch and we always have a hard time deciding because everything on their menu sounds and tastes so good. Occasionally they add a few seasonal items to the menu that is served for a short period of time. This was one of them. I have always been a fan of lemon and strawberries and these toppers take the cake . . . or should I say pancake! Usually I go for something savory like a benedict or toasted sandwich with fruit on the side but on this day I was craving something sweeter. And while the strawberries were perfectly sweet, the lemon curd was quite tart. Maple syrup was on the table but after the first bite there was no need to add anything more. The pancakes were light and slightly creamy like a dutch baby, with a crispy outer crust. When I taste a dish this delicious I usually write it down with notes as to the ingredients, taste, and texture for future reference. It’s taken me awhile to recreate this one but it was well worth the wait!
These pics and instructions for the lemon curd are from my post Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries. I felt it would be helpful to show how to make the curd ahead of time. The curd can be refrigerated and kept for up to 2 weeks. You’ll need 6 egg yolks, 5 – 6 large lemons, enough to make 3/4 cup lemon juice, zest from 2 lemons, 1 1/4 cups Sugar and 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chilled.
Remove from heat and begin adding the chilled butter 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Let the curd cool to room temperature, pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Now for the ricotta pancakes. You will need 3 bowls filled with ingredients that will be mixed up in a particular order to achieve the perfect ricotta pancake. First for the wet ingredients you will need whole fat ricotta, buttermilk and 2 egg yolks. For the dry ingredients you will need flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Save the egg whites and whip them up in a separate mixing bowl until they are frothy and hold soft peaks.
Heat a griddle over medium heat. Take a stick of butter and rub over the area where you plan to pour the batter. Pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle. You may have to spread it out a bit as it is quite thick. Also make sure the heat is adjusted to cook a bit longer as the batter will take longer to bubble up. When air bubbles appear on top and the pancake has browned on the bottom, turn the pancake over to cook on the other side for an additional minute or two until it has sufficiently browned.
Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Strawberries
1 cup Whole Fat Ricotta
3/4 cup Buttermilk
2 Eggs, separated
1 cup All Purpose Flour
4 tablespoons Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Lemon Curd, recipe follows
Strawberries, rinsed and sliced
Add a sprinkle of sugar over the strawberries to draw out their juice. Will make for a juicier and slightly sweeter topping.
To make pancakes: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, buttermilk and 2 egg yolks. Whisk until until mixture is smooth and creamy. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour about half of the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture. Fold in and mix until well combined, then add the rest of the dry mix and blend until all the flour mix has been incorporated into the batter. Use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta batter until well mixed. It should resemble a frothy texture.
Heat a griddle over medium heat. Take a stick of butter and rub on the griddle where you plan to pour the batter. Pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter over the buttered areas of the griddle. The batter will be thick and you may need to spread it out a bit. Let cook until batter begins to bubble and brown on the bottom. Flip pancake and cook the other side until it has browned, approximately 1 – 2 minutes.
Stack pancakes on a warming plate and continue cooking the remaining pancakes.
Serve with lemon curd and sliced strawberries.
Makes 10 pancakes.
6 Egg Yolks
5 – 6 Fresh Lemons
1 1/4 cups Sugar
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, chilled
Zest 2 tablespoons and juice enough lemons to make 3/4 cup juice. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Pour the sugar into the yolks as you whisk. Continue until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour in the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture just to a simmer, turn down the heat and continue stirring 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Begin stirring in pats of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Let curd cool to room temperature. Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.