If we go camping together, you’re going to get pancakes. The bigger question is what type? I’ve been on a ricotta pancake kick lately, and decided to pack everything needed to make these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on our road trip down the California coast last week. I tend to go through different pancake, waffle, crepe phases, but for the moment I’m all in here. These pancakes are tender, lemon-flecked, golden-edged beauties. The ricotta batter is bolstered with a bit of almond flour and enriched with olive oil. They are pancakes so delicious and pillowy tender it’s easy for two people to crush the whole stack. There are a couple things that can make these pancakes even better - toppings and setting. If you can enjoy them outside, perhaps at a picnic table - go for it. I love an outdoor breakfast and was happy to enjoy a string of them last week. We beach-camped in Pismo, then Santa Barbara (finally visited Lotusland!), and then a couple nights in Malibu - outdoor meals everyday. I'll post a few pics below :)
Lemon Ricotta Pancake Toppings
I have a few suggested toppings here. I often like to make a break with maple syrup for these pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, maple syrup is good here, I just really like a ricotta-honey combo. These pancakes are incredibly good generously drizzled with saffron honey. I infuse a few threads of saffron in 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and then stir that into 1/3 cup of honey. I also brought a strong pink cinnamon honey along on the trip made by whisking ground Vietnamese cinnamon, cayenne powder, pitaya powder, vanilla extract and a few other ingredients to taste in some local honey.
Level-up Your Butter
Alternately, you can play around with compound butters. Whenever we go on a road-trip or camping I tend to bring stacks of frozen things. Thin stacks. Sauces, pestos, curry pastes and the like, frozen flat in baggies. I always bring a compound butter or two. Usually one sweet, for pancakes, biscuits, oatmeal, etc. And one savory - to toss with noodles, and veggies, quick pasta dishes, and that sort of thing. I like a salted butter mashed up with lots of lemon zest and brown sugar with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Or butter mashed up with a splash of honey and some crushed freeze-dried berries.
What if I don’t have Ricotta?
That’s okay! Do you have cottage cheese? You can swap that in for the ricotta. I suspect you could even swap in full-fat Greek yogurt, but I haven’t tested that version yet. A few shots of Lotusland here, and the Mailbu Hindu Temple as well. Both highlights of our trip.
Ricotta Pancake Variations
There are a lot of ways to switch up this recipe with whatever citrus, spices, and seeds you have.
- Lemon Poppyseed Ricotta Pancakes: Sprinkle a tablespoon of poppy seeds across the batter before folding in the whipped egg whites.
- Lemon Olive Oil: Replace the olive oil with lemon olive oil for an added lemon boost.
- Orange Ricotta Pancakes: Substitute the zest of one orange for the lemon zest.
- Market Lime Ricotta Pancakes: I have a market lime tree on my patio and these pancakes are amazing with the zest of two makrut limes in place of the lemon zest.
I hope you love these ricotta pancakes as much as I do! There are more pancake recipes around in the the archives as well. Here's where to go if you're looking for more of a classic pancake recipe, if you're looking for a good vegan pancake recipe, these blueberry beet pancakes sound wild, but are beautiful and delicious. And all things pancake are better with this blackberry saffron honey, a berry version of the saffron honey I mentioned up above.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
I like these pancakes best when made on the medium-small side. If you’re cooking for a crowd consider making double or triple the batter.
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- zest of two lemons
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Separate the eggs and whisk the whites into stiff peaks in a clean bowl. In another bowl combine the egg yolks, ricotta, olive oil, almond flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and flour. Gently fold the whites into the ricotta mixture until uniform with no streaks.
Place a skillet over medium-low heat, rub with a bit of olive oil, and ladle 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. You want to cook these slow and low until golden on the bottom, a couple minutes. Flip to cook the second side until golden. This side takes less time, just a minute or so. Serve immediately or keep warm in a low temperature oven.
Makes 12 pancakes.