As I was making these this morning, I muttered to myself "These aren't going to be worth all this effort." Oh-ho, how wrong I was! These are bright and fluffy, and come out almost like stuffed pancakces -- stuffed with ricotta cheese! And, the texture is substantial -- so much so that I wound up tearing off bits with my fingers and dipping the chunks into maple syrup, which turned out to be a great solution for soggy pancakes.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
5 T butter
1 c milk
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt, divided
3 eggs, separated
2 T sugar, divided
1 T lemon rind
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c ricotta
Place butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Sift together and set aside.
Place egg yolks, 1 T sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Whisk in a quarter of the milk-mixture until smooth. Then, add remaining milk-butter mixture.
Add reserved flour mixture to the egg-milk mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Half-way through the whisking, sprinkle in remaining 1 T sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the batter until just combined.
Gently fold the ricotta into the batter. The batter will be lumpy and streaked with ricotta.
Heat a skillet until hot. Lightly coat with butter and then cook pancakes 1/4 c at a time. As always, cook on one side -- undisturbed -- for 3-4 minutes (depending on your heat), or until bubbles form on the top. Then, flip and cook -- undisturbed -- for another 1-2 minutes.