Extra Special Pancakes—For Moms with Love!

Photo by Susie Cushner

Photo by Susie Cushner

 For Mother’s Day many of us either send a card, make a call, or wire flowers, but what could be more thoughtful than starting this celebration with a homemade meal! As a cook and a mom, I love turning the kitchen over to my son and grand kids on this special day. My daughter-in-law, mother par excellence, shares my feelings.

This year we’ll all be together on May 12th, and since our family loves to make pancakes for brunch, griddled fare will have a starring role on the menu. Among my favorite breakfast recipes are Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, which some of you may recognize from my newest book, Sunday Brunch.

Ricotta cheese gives these golden pancakes their rich, smooth texture, while a generous addition of lemon zest provides a light, citrus accent. The scrumptious blueberry sauce that accompanies these griddlecakes is simple to assemble, but will need a little simmering time to cook down, so that the flavors are concentrated. You can make the sauce ahead and reheat it at serving time, or if you’re rushed, simply garnish the pancakes with some fresh sweetened blueberries.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes  with Blueberry Sauce
Blueberry Sauce
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries (defrosted and patted dry)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
Canola oil

1. For the Blueberry Sauce, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a heavy, medium saucepan and stir until blended. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the blueberries and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool for about 10 minutes.

2. Puree the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain the pureed sauce through a fine-meshed sieve back into the saucepan. Return to medium heat and cook at a simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon. (The sauce can be prepared 3 days ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat when needed.)

3. For pancakes, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta, milk, sugar, and lemon zest until well blended. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients.

4. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the whites until they are just firm. Gently stir 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

5. Heat a griddle or a large, heavy frying pan set over medium to medium-low heat until hot. Brush the bottom of the pan with just enough oil to coat the surface. Working in batches, pour generous 1/4 cup measures of the batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the top and pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, for about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Remove to a warm platter, and cover loosely with foil. (Do not stack the pancakes or they will steam and become flabby.) Repeat, adding more oil to the griddle until all the batter has been used.

6. Arrange 3 overlapping pancakes on each of 4 plates, drizzle with some warm blueberry sauce, and serve. Makes 12 pancakes, to serve 4 Prep time: 45 minutes, including making the Blueberry Sauce Start-to-finish time: 1 hour

From  Sunday Brunch by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books 2012)

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