There are many different varieties of wonderful weekends. Some require planning, some derive their pleasure from spontaneity, but nearly all of my favorite weekends include a hearty breakfast.
Breakfasts are rarely able to be savored throughout the work week, so when Saturday comes around and the to-do list allows, I love taking a leisurely hour to bask in the indulgence that is a good, carb-filled breakfast.
I made us pancakes. It’s Thursday which means we are basically dipping our toes into Weekend Land, but we still have enough hours before Saturday morning materializes to pick up a few ingredients.
Nothing complicated or overdone here, just plain and simple limoncello ricotta pancakes.
Okay, that is about as far from low-maintenance as you can get, but while the title rings of pretentiousness, the recipe is anything but complicated.
Also, these pancakes might change your life a lil’ bit. They did mine and I am now exactly the same person I was before, but who now holds pancakes to a much higher standard. That’s a 2019 thing we should all be striving for, so let’s do this.
If you are hosting a brunch in the near future but are hesitant to make yet another quiche, these pancakes are the answer. They are a slightly sophisticated citrus explosion and they have my whole heart.
I used my very favorite ricotta pancake recipe as a base for these pancakes. Ricotta has a way of making the pancakes feel a little richer and a little less bread-y, both of which I love.
While nearly all of us have been flipping pancakes since we still required a stool to reach the kitchen counter, so many pancakes fall prey to error, leading to overcooked bottoms or underdone centers.
The key to cooking pancakes successfully is patience. First, it is important to keep the heat at medium so that the outside of the pancake does not burn before the center has cooked through. It may look as though there is nothing happening, but trust me, browning will occur slowly but surely. The second factor in successful pancakery is the flipping. So many would-be successful pancakes run awry here, but there is a very simple way to know when the pancake is ready to be flipped.
Once the face of the pancake is entirely covered in small bubbles and all of them have popped, leaving dozens of tiny craters over the surface of the pancake, it is time to flip.
It is really that simple, and they will turn out picture perfect every single time.
Though these pancakes are beyond delicious on their own, I wanted to play up the flavor with a limoncello syrup. Why not?
Lemon juice, limoncello, and a heavy dose of sugar simmer until we are left with a thick and pourable syrup.
Whipped cream and a handful of berries are the finishing touches that make this the breakfast of my dreams.
Make time to savor your mornings this weekend. You’ve earned it.
LIMONCELLO RICOTTA PANCAKES
FOR THE LIMONCELLO SYRUP
1/2 cup limoncello
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir every so often, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Once the mixture has reached a boil, reduce heat and simmer steadily for fifteen minutes, until the mixture has reduced to approximately 1/2 cup.
Cook’s Note: While the syrup is reducing, prepare the pancake batter.
Allow to cool slightly before pouring over hot pancakes.
Cook’s Note: As the syrup cools, it will thicken. If the syrup becomes too thick to pour, simply warm it up in your microwave for 10-30 seconds, until it is warm.
FOR THE PANCAKES
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature*
2 large eggs, at room temperature*
2 tablespoons limoncello
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
unsalted butter, softened, for cooking
whipped cream, for serving
Cook’s Note: It is important that the eggs and milk be at room temperature, otherwise they will cause the melted butter to solidify, making your batter chunky.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Use the tines of a fork to press the zest into the sugar. Whisk the sugar and lemon zest into the flour mixture.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together melted butter, whole milk, eggs and limoncello.
Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth. Fold the ricotta into the prepared batter and use a small spatula to break up the ricotta slightly, leaving small bits throughout the batter.
Rub a bit of softened butter in a nonstick pan and place over medium heat. Once the butter just begins to simmer, add 1/2 cup of the prepared batter to the pan and cook until the pancake is covered in bubbles but is no longer bubbling. This should take roughly two minutes.
Flip the pancake and cook on the opposite side, for roughly one minute.
Keep the pancakes in the oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining batter.
Serve the pancakes with softened butter, freshly whipped cream, berries, and warm limoncello syrup.