Lemons are usually a peripheral fruit – they’re in everything – though rarely a featured ingredient. But with the tang and sour of everyday lemons and a slightly sweet juicy flesh, Meyer lemons are special, and worthy of a starring role. Combined with the quiet sweetness of fresh ricotta and a drizzle of maple syrup, the lemon flavor shines in these airy, tender pancakes.
The ricotta pancake is illusive. Hardly a cake, it’s more like cheese lightly held together with some flour. Cooking these pancakes is a delicate process, and they continue to set up once removed from the pan. If you are unsure, give yourself a little extra time and a few test cakes to see how best to cook them on your surface. Preheating the skillet or griddle helps to make sure the heat is consistent.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- big pinch sea salt
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 1/3 cups firm ricotta
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest roughly 2 lemons worth
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- butter or neutral oil for frying
Preheat skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and sea salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and then add ricotta, sugar, juice, and zest. In yet another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Fold cheese mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Next, gently fold in egg whites, making sure they are evenly dispersed in the batter.
Heat oven to 200 degrees with an oven-proof platter inside. Add a pat of butter to the skillet or griddle, and gently pour 1/3 cup of batter for each cake. Cook cakes 3 - 4 minutes on each side, until edges are a deep golden brown. Place cooked cakes in oven until you are ready to serve.
Serve pancakes dusted with confectioners sugar or warm maple syrup, and a Meyer lemon wedge.