You know how you know it’s November? I actually made breakfast this morning. I’m sorry if that shattered your pristine image of me. Sure, I occasionally cook big, elaborate brunches for friends or family and I even spoil myself from time to time with yogurt with pumpkin butter and pepita granola, but pretty consistently, Saturday and Sunday morning I chew on my fingernails until Alex wakes up, or sometimes, if I’m really hungry and he’s still sleeping (the boy is a sleep MACHINE) I’ll sit next to him on the bed and stare until he wakes up and brings us either bagels from Murray’s or eggs from the diner. Yes, you heard that right. I get a fried egg and toast take out. Yes, I am ashamed to know myself sometimes, too.
Nonetheless, as it appears that despite my caveats this NaBloPoMo thing is on, I figure that if nothing else I can use it to clean out the refrigerator. Have you ever bought something but forgotten to eat it then found six weeks later that it was in the very back of the refrigerator, still in perfect condition? Did it make you feel wildly uncomfortable about the preservatives that must be in your food? Did you get over it and eat it anyway? Well, I did. I found some little green apples in the produce drawer this morning that Alex, despite loving green apples, had been staunchly avoiding because they had actually ripened (true story: the boy doesn’t like ripe fruit), and then there was some leftover ricotta from a dish we’ll get to next week and a lemon that really had better days, but wouldn’t my grandmothers be proud that I hadn’t wasted food?
Wow, I really know how to make a dish sound appetizing, don’t I? Mmm, old apples and a lemon ready for the retirement home–I bet you can’t wait to try this one! Oh, but you should, even with fresher ingredients. These lemon-ricotta pancakes were delicious, light and ever so crisp at the edges and the sauteed apples had all the best qualities of apple pie, including making the apartment smell decadent. Breakfast this morning just triumphed over anything available from the diner, and I questioned why I didn’t do this more often. Could it be time to turn over a new leaf? What if I used those hours between the time I woke up and Alex did for something useful, not just reading Jezebel and watching the Food Network? Maybe NaBloPoMo will make me a better person.
And then I spied the dishes in the sink–two saute pans, two spatulas, cutting board, knife, pile of peels, empty containers, a stray lemon seed, plates, bowls, forks, ohmygaaa. Corner diner, I will not forsake you again.
One year ago: Dream a Little Dream of Scone
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
Gourmet, September 1991
Servings: Makes about twelve 3- to 4-inch pancakes.
For the sauteed apples
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (40 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
fresh lemon juice to taste
For the pancakes
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups (340 grams) ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
Melted butter for brushing the griddle
Maple syrup, as an accompaniment
Prepare the sauteed apples:
In a large heavy skillet saute the apples in the butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they are softened, sprinkle them with the sugar and the cinnamon, and cook them over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender. Stir in the lemon juice and keep the mixture warm.
Make the pancakes:
In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the ricotta, the sugar, and the zest, add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks, whisk about one fourth of them into the ricotta mixture, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Heat a griddle over
moderately high heat (Deb does not concur. She firmly believes that pancakes should be cooked medium-low.) until it is hot enough to make drops of water scatter over its surface and brush it with some of the melted butter. Working in batches, pour the batter onto the griddle by 1/4-cup measures and cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, brushing the griddle with some of the melted butter as necessary. Transfer the pancakes as they are cooked to a heatproof platter and keep them warm in a preheated 200Â°F oven.
Serve the pancakes with the sauteed apples and the maple syrup.
143 comments on lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples
OMG this sounds AWESOME and I don’t even liked cooked apples that much! I love that you admit to using, um…”mature” fruits from the fridge – it makes the rest of us not feel so bad. Thanks, Deb! Also love the ricotta in the pancakes – I bet they were nice and fluffy…
Yaaaay Deb’s in for NaBloPoMo! I KNEW you’d cave!!
I make the lemon-ricotta pancakes from Epicurious (probably similar) and serve with pumpkin butter or sweet potato butter from the apple orchard general store. Yum yum.
god how i love ricotta anything. this sounds GREAT – like really really… lemon ricotta pancakes. new to me – but not for long. yum…
I’m dying to try this. I’ve been admire your website for a couple weeks now. I love you style. Your tone. Thanks for keeping me entertained and well fed.
How do you think this recipe would turn out with gala apples? I’ve got a ton my husband brought home from an orchard a week ago.
Muwahaha I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist the power of the NaBloPoMo!
Wow! This makes me wish I had picked up some ricotta at the market today. I thought about it, but didn’t. Drat! I will be prepared next weekend, though. This looks awesome!
Right this minute I’m eating breakfast – a cup of tea and ginger shorthread (healthy I know). These pancakes sound a lot better. Maybe I should try these next weekend when I’ve tired of my usual “coffee and toast”-routine.
Looking forward to being entertained all the way through November. I was secretly hoping for it – had so much fun reading your daily posts a year ago.
Just absolutely swimming in awesomeness.
Wow. Those look amazing. Now if only I had some ricotta and a few more apples. But it would be the second time I made pancakes in a week.
OK my question…how come my pancakes on a GRIDDLE never come out looking like the pancakes from a diner. Or the pancakes I see cooked on some Food Network TV shows? Mine are never that big — I even bought a mamouth pancake flipper, and it takes until the last of the batter to get the color of my pancake NOT to be spotted. In diners, the pancakes have that overall nice tanned color –NEVER spotted like mine. I preheat my griddle for 30 minutes set to 350-375 degrees. Is a diner griddle set even hotter, because I can set my griddle hot too? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And yes, this recipe looks scum-dilly-ish-issssss!
Oh my! I am definitely going to try these. Sounds like they are the ultimate leftover breakfast ingredients! And good for you for not wasting food!
I know it’s scary that apples can last that long, but in truth, the apples that you buy at the supermarket are usually already a year old! Our friend works in the fruit business and let us in on that disturbing news!
Have I mentioned that I love your blog? When my homepage went through the Great FoodBlog Purge, yours was one of the few that survived.
YEAH!!! gogo Nablopomo…
Thanks Deb, it’s a real gift!
and thank you Merav, the link you posted is very interesting.
a good day starts with a great breakfast… so good day!
We have a local breakfast place that does a Lemon Ricotta cake so I know how delicious these can be. So what about the dishes?? Isn’t that how Alex can re-pay you for such a great wake-up call??
I don’t know about the lemon, but the health of those ripened Granny Smiths isn’t surprising. I went apple-picking at Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, OH two weekends ago (recommended!), where I got info on preserving and cooking my bounty. Not only does Lynd say that apples last for a few weeks without refrigeration, but it also had tips for keeping them for up to 5 months – one year! I’ve lost the tip sheet, but something about sugar and something about the back of the fridge :-)
P.S. I had McCann’s Irish steel-cut oatmeal with apple butter for breakfast today. And I made it in my rice cooker.
Hoorah! A use for all that ricotta in my fridge!
you’re hilarious Deb :) especially that last bit about forsaking the corner diner … lol
great site post Merav !
Hmmm I wonder if I used Bisquick instead of flour and omitted part of the sugar….in the morning i use what is quickest and bisquick for a hungry 23yr old (who still lives at home and is in school) is a perfect staple….but now i know what to do with my cottage cheese and old apples….this is great even on crepes…
MMMmmm…Lemon ricotta paired with warm buttery apples sounds absolutely divine. I have some ricotta sitting in my frig, I should use it up on this recipe!
I was just watching Tyler’s Ultimate on the food network, and guess what he was making? RICOTTA PANCAKES.. coincidence?? I still think that yours look way better though. Sorry Tyler.
WOW. Food porn at its finest. I will definitely make these next weekend.
Hey! Your recipe made Ed Levines Serious Eats!
“I was all set to give you a biscuit recipe for today’s Sunday Brunch post, but then I happened to read Deb’s Smitten Kitchen post on the lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples recipe from Gourmet Magazine in 1991. Yum!
Here’s the recipe, complete with Deb’s annotation. For Deb’s great photos you’ll have to click through to her post.”
What fun and, congrats!
“Wow, I really know how to make a dish sound appetizing, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t I? Mmm, old apples and a lemon ready for the retirement homeÃ¢â‚¬â€œI bet you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to try this one!”
Made me laugh out loud.
Ooh, this sounds delicious. Sometimes when my husband and I want something sweet but not too decadent, I’ll saute apples just like that, and just eat them plain. Yum.
As for the “old” apples, just remember: most of our ancestors, before refrigeration, probably had root cellars. Basically a cave dug in the ground where they kept things like potatoes, onions, apples. Because in the ground it would stay relatively cool through the summer and wouldn’t freeze in the winter, and they could keep some of those fresh veggies around well past their natural seasons. Anyway, not to make this a tutorial on food preservation. Just thought I would mention that I routinely buy enough apples, carrots, and onions for a month, because I know that in my refrigerator they will be just fine for that long.
Wow! this looks really amazing! will definitely try it out in a couple of days.
btw, while saute-ing apples try adding a pinch of salt and a pinch of paprika/red chili powder, it tastes absolutely great on a toasted bread slice or just by itself!
Somehow I’m guessing the scarily old items in my fridge wouldn’t come together to make something so delicious (creamed saucisson sec, anyone..? no?). I love lemon ricotta pancakes, though. I have a recipe that throws in poppy seeds for a little crunch!
Funnily enough, Tyler Florence made somethnig that was similar to these on his Ultimate show and I was watching that this morning and thinking how crazy good they looked.
I made the same ones C is referencing – they’re listed on Food Network and on sassyradish too. I think ricotta pancakes with lemon are heavenly and blissful things – I could eat them with abandon!
Day 4 of NaBloPoMo, and I’ve already skipped the gym twice in favor of blogging. It is decidedly not making me a better person. Good luck to us both!
I’m not sure that in recent memory I’ve used a fresh lemon when cooking; I always find ones I bought a month or more previous for lemonade and never used. I feel a lot better about my cooking habits now. I might just make the apples and use my own pancake recipe, with at least the zest added.
I’m surprised you buttered the griddle, though. I use an electric one and I’ve never had a problem with anything sticking.
What kind of coffee do you drink with that?
:) I’d pair it with a nice, creamy cappuccino, but wow, even alone it looks YUM and saying that for me is big considering how obsessed I am with coffee. Great work on the recipe and the photography!
I love it- my boyfriend’s a sleep machine too, and sometimes I stare at him and just think “wake up, wake up” because I’m hungry for breakfast. It never seems to work, so I have to resort to subtly poking him. Oh, and I’m super-excited you’re doing NaBloPoMo!
but a fried egg and toast don’t make many dishes at all! i should know this, because that’s all i ate last week while my husband was out of town. usually my lazy bachlorette meal is pasta with garlic and blue cheese, but hey. we had eggs.
and he left me alone with the halloween candy, so heavy meals weren’t really needed.
I like lemon, ricotta, and pancakes. I love apples. But, never have I thought of putting them all together. I tip my hat to you. You inspire me.
there’s another recipe for pancakes that you might like in the whole foods cookbook, most of which is available on the whole foods website for cottage cheese pancakes – they are super easy and soooo good (though the yield on the recipe is much smaller than it says)
i’d been putting off making these since it’d just be for me, but i couldn’t resist any longer. i scaled your recipe down to a “single serving” size (okay, so i just bunged the stuff in a bowl, aiming for the right proportions) and SWEET HOLY CRACKERS. this is gooooooood. i’ve never been that big on pancakes, but i think this has me converted.
I made these this weekend and it is now going in my Favorite Recipes file! I expect it to be batter-stained and battle-scarred in no time! Thanks so much!
PS: I also found Earl Grey tea to be the perfect accompaniment–the bergamot flavor goes so well with the lemony tang of the pancakes!
My husband and I made these this past Sunday as we had leftover Ricotta in the fridge and were keen on a more elaborate meal than coffee, OJ and some toast – I am so glad that I printed this recipe! It was exactly what we were looking for, the lemony tang really came through, the texture of the pancakes is fabulous and since I am having a major love affair with cooked fruit lately the apples were divine on top! Thanks for another amazing recipe!
I made this for dinner – fantastic. We loved it. Delicious. Thank you so much.
Just found your blog yesterday, and there went my afternoon! Knew I had to make these today (Sunday). Skipped the apples in the interests of time and cleanup, and used 2% cottage cheese, blended until smooth, since I had that and no ricotta. Despite those alterations, pancakes were phenomenal. My husband loves you.
YES! YES! YES! I’ve made this twice for brunch and it’s always a winner. So fluffy! Thanks!
Made these for Mother’s Day yesterday and they were a huge hit! So light and fluffy and the apple topping was divine. My family continues to appreciate reaping the rewards from your site – thanks! :)
My boyfriend hates ripe fruit too!! How do you compete with that? It’s the worst with peaches and nectarines…they’re all gone by the time they would be ripe!
Just filled our your poll and it reminded me I never posted after making the pancakes this summer. I had another recipe from a few years back, but yours trumped it in spades! I didn’t do the sauteed apples (may try that this fall) … just dusted the cakes with powdered sugar. Thanks!!!
I just made these for breakfast. Simply delicious. So fluffy, so light, so GOOD.
Have made these topped with thawed frozen raspberries with a little sweetener. Once thawed they are very juicy…perfect as a topping. Can cook with some cornstarch and some lemon zest if you want at a thicker topping. Yum
I was no impressed by these. They didn’t taste like lemon at all to me. The batter was way too puffy and did not “settle” on the griddle – the cook time was extremely off for me and if I’d made the griddle any hotter, I’d have burnt the exterior without cooking the interior. In fact, after 4 mins on each side, the inside was STILL wet, puffy batter – not cooked. Not nearly sweet enough for me (granted more sugar could be added) but my two major complaints are the batter consistency/cooking and the lack of lemon flavor.
These all ended up in the garbage.
I’ve just finished having way too many of these for breakfast. Yum; great combination of flavors. Next time, I’ll add even more lemon and substitute strawberries or blueberries for the topping.
Hi! I made these today and they were a big hit:) I added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and doubled the lemon zest…I think my lemons were weak, just couldn’t get enough of that light lemon flavor without adding more zest. they were fluffy and the apples were great alongside.
I love your website!
I love SueJ comment about the use of cottage cheese. I am VERY VERY deathly allergic to Ricotta. There are so many recipes i want to make but don’t know what to substitute for the ricotta. ie:2 Tbsp of ricotta is called for in a recipe for cheese danish. what can i use or not use for this? i want to surprise my husband with them this weekend.
I made these when I had company for the weekend and I wowed them :) The pancakes are so fluffy and the apples are sweet but still crunchy a bit.
These are divine! (Not to mention, nothing like the normal heavy, unhealthy standard pancakes) We tried both with the apples and with boysenberry jam and really like the slight tartness of the jam. Plus they’re great cold! Thanks for the recipe!
I like the new print format – very nice. The subtle website changes are very nice, in my opinion.
I just made these for Mother’s Day Brunch. I thought I’d be really smart and prep all the ingredients before hand, so that when we were ready to eat I’d just need to whip the eggs and cook. And it would’ve worked too, except my measuring cup with the flour got hidden behind another bowl and I completely forgot to add it in! I noticed the omission after the first batch went on the griddle, and added an approximated amount of flour to the remaining batter (tried to fold it in gently, but they still turned out a bit heavy). The funny part is, the flour-less ones were still really tasty (I just told everyone I was trying out a new low-carb recipe!)
On a side note, instead of the apples I made a warm blueberry compote to go on top, which was divine with the lemon (the apples just seemed to Fall/Wintery for a Mother’s Day brunch)
Hey! I just made these this morning! Sooooooooooooooooo Tasty!
I made them with cottage cheese and they are so good! They’re a little light and fluffy to support blueberries, but I had to try. Lemon just loves blueberry!
I made these for Sunday brunch this morning. This recipe is AMAAAAZING! In fact, the pancake recipe is so good that I felt that the apples were totally unnecessary and actually upstaged it. I’ll save the apple recipe for when I’m using a blander pancake out of shmisquick. :P
I have been a Smitten Kitchen stalker for some time now, hiding in the shadows and making all your wonderful recipes but never commenting :) But after making these pancakes, I had to! I am hard to please when it comes to pancakes; Bisquick and the like just won’t cut it. They’re all to dense and dry so I was pleasantly surprised to make these and find a wonderful, airy base pancake recipe that I hope to modify depending on my mood. My boyfriend especially appreciated these as a breakfast after he finished a 24 hour shift (he’s a paramedic). Thanks for all the wonderful foods you bring into my kitchen!
I made these pancakes for Mother’s Day today. Things don’t always go perfectly smoothly between my mother and me, but this was a nice treat-slash-project, so we had something to do. I put in extra zest (Mom zested, as she was sous for once) and served them with a little blueberry compote (good idea, Liz above). They were fluffy, delicious, and a bit special, while still very easy. Thanks.
Okay…can this batter be made the night before? I’m absolutely loving this site. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.
I made these for Father’s Day yesterday. DELICIOUS! Everyone loved them, my dad most importantly. Thank you!!
Getting cold here and this one made me really happy! The apples look to warm and sweet. Have you made this since? (At least the apples)
I made these these pancakes this morning and served them with strawberries and maple syrup instead of the apple topping. They were delicious and had such an interesting texture!
Because I have yet to make a pancake without it being burnt or raw, I opted out and made waffles. These were wonderful! Enjoyed a late brunch on the deck and enjoyed the fall colors and the crisp air. Instead of maple syrup, we topped the apples with Greek yogurt. What a nice memory to have when it’s blizzarding outside. Thanks for adding to the experience!
tried it this weekend – delicious recipe and easy!
If I may be so bold as to suggest… add some melted butter to the batter, before you fold in the egg whites. I’ve been making a similar recipe for many years (adapted from a Four Seasons Hotel recipe). Sure it may not be “heart smart” but it makes a big difference. Also, try serving these delicious griddle cakes with a raspberry compote (cooked raspberries with a bit of sugar and lemon zest)…hhheaven.
I’m so glad I noticed this on your recent post! Ever since I went to Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis a month ago (where I had a lovely meal), I’ve been wishing I’d had their Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes. Now I’ll just make them for myself!
Just made these! I just sauteed two apples and added blueberries too. I’m not a big lemon fan, but my boyfriend is. He took one bite and said, ‘This can go in the Make Again folder.’ :)
I’ve made these several times and they are delicious! The batter will likely not look like your “normal” pancake batter as it is thicker and won’t spread into a perfect circle. Basically I dropped the 1/4 cup onto the griddle (which I set at 375, seems to work well though take probably 4 to 6 minutes for the first side and 2 to 3 minutes for the second) and then spread the batter thinner in a circular motion using the back of a spoon or my finger. It work perfectly!! Thank you Deb!!
Another amazing recipe. I made them at brunch last weekend (along with the vanilla pudding). I used a regular pan instead of the griddle, which might have been the problem, so they were a bit of a hot mess, but a delicious goodness hot mess. By the time the last pancakes were put in, they turned out much better. They were a little too sweet for me, so I will probably use less sugar next time, but that is just my preference.
I love these (even without the apples!). I like to skip out on buttering the pan, so that the pancakes come out a lovely and even golden brown. Of course, this only works if the pan has been sufficiently heated. I totally agree with you Deb; med-low works best!
So, here I am this morning with two eggs, no milk and two hungry kids… I needed a breakfast idea and FAST! My friend recently turned me on to your blog so after checking every cookbook I owned, not an easy feat, I checked out your blog. These pancakes saved my life today (almost literally!)!!! I just so happened to have some ricotta left from a mac n’ cheese recipe I had made last week and my lemon tree had one more on it! What luck!!! I had to half the recipe (because of the egg shortage) and was so disappointed that there weren’t more pancakes! I’m headed to the store now to buy more eggs! So far my family and I have LOVED everything that I’ve made from your site. Thanks for the inspiration!
I have a question, could you use mascapona cheese instead of ricotta? Just wondering, anyway I will try this amazing looking recipe with my cousins tomorrow morning!
I have a story about these pancakes too, Alissa. I’m having my Bat Mitzvah TOMORROW and am an excited, nervous mess about. Monday morning I could not go to sleep. So I got up at 5:30, peeled, sliced, cored and sauteed the apples, grated the lemon, beat the whites…it was SO relaxing. These pancakes maybe saved my life. Probably not though. I really like them. They have lots of lemon taste without being bitter or too acidic at all. The apples really compliment them. Next time I think I’ll up the cinnamon, though. My cousins from Burlington, VT stayed here last night, and I have the batter, which I made last night, already in the fridge, so I’ll grill some more of there pancakes up for breakfast. And thanks Deb, for this wonderful-as-usual recipe!!
Hey, this dish looks delish! I just wanted to say that this website is so sleek and pretty~
Awesome work with the discoveries and compilations! I will enjoy cooking many of these!
I love that whatever recipe I want to cook is always on your blog. It’s like you read my mind! Thanks for this, will making it this coming weekend. Yum!
I made these today. They are good. I used Friendship Farmer Cheese instead of ricotta. I don’t know if that made a difference. My husband loved them but I was hoping for a more cheese taste. These almost tasted like ordinary pancakes with another texture. Anything I can do to up the ‘cheese’ taste? The apples were delicious however. No complaints about those:)
Goldilocks (my 8 year old) says that these are too light and fluffy. Oy vey!
These are delicious! I am not an expert pancake maker, so I stupidly sat there waiting for them to bubble on the first few. But once I reread the instructions and just turned them when they were golden, I was all set. I also agree about being patient at a lower oven setting. Will make these again!
Hooray, here’s my excuse to make homemade ricotta and DO something new with it!
Best pancakes I have ever HAD, let alone made. Light, fluffy, just enough lemon, not too much sugar. Awesome! Followed the recipe exactly.
Made these twice, once with ricotta and once with yogurt instead. They’re very different from normal pancakes… I found the texture to be a bit too egg-white-y, but yummy lemon flavor and the apples are awesome! They taste like apple pie filling.
This recipe is amazing! The ricotta pancakes were sooooo light and fluffy and the apples were a perfect compliment. These pancakes have replaced my traditional pancake recipe. Thanks!
These look delicious, but I don’t own an electric mixer (or even a hand-held). Is there some other way to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks? Or some way to modify that step for kitchen with very little equipment? Thanks!
Sara — You can beat them by hand until stiff, the way the classic Frech chefs did. But, it does become a bit of a workout!
So I made the amazingly delicious pumpkin cinnamon rolls from a week or so ago, but now I have a lot of pumpkin purée left over. I was thinking I could swap out the ricotta for pumpkin purée and add pumpkin-y spices since their consistencies are similar. Your thoughts?
These are yummy! I think I will add vanilla extract and more sugar next time (I like my pancakes a little sweeter.) But the texture of these is heavenly and the apples on top are so good. Great breakfast on a fall weekend :)
I just made this, and it was beyond incredible. Thank you.
Also – I didn’t have an electric mixer and instead used one of those little mini whisks for salad dressings (all my new apartment has at the moment whisk-wise). Lucky I was making a half batch. It was a workout but plenty worthwhile.
I just made these this morning with pink lady apples (4 is a bit too much, I recommend 3 large ones or even 2 if you don’t want leftovers). The pancakes themselves are fluffy but with a graininess that comes from the ricotta. I was using whole milk ricotta and if you like a fluffy smooth texture I would not recommend this recipe. I would also recommend adding some lemon juice to the pancake batter because the lemon flavor is not very pronounced. I made 8 pancakes out of this recipe that were about 3 inches each. The batter is very thick and when I ladled it into the pan, I had to flatten it otherwise it kinda stays in a mound because of the beaten egg whites incorporated into it.
Jenny — Only because you mentioned the graininess, I wanted to note that adding lemon juice can increase the “curd” effect of ricotta and other dairy.
Deb is right Jenny. I just made these tonight for the first time, and they were perfectly light and fluffy, no graininess whatsoever! And I thought the lemon flavor was perfect..it made them light and fragrant and wasn’t overpowering. Use a bit more lemon juice in the accompanying apples and you’ll get some more tartness without ruining the pancakes. My only issue with these was it being a bit of a pain having to do the egg whites separate, but the end result was worth it!
Just made these with some alterations: instead of ricotta, I used 1 1/3 cups of honey orange greek style yogurt (omitted sugar from pancakes), added about 1/8 ts of orange extract instead of juice. Unless I’m making meringue, I never whip egg whites, so the whole eggs just got whisked in w/ the yogurt (this made them more like Swedish pancakes, which is fine with me). Also, due to not whipping the egg whites, I added about 1/4 ts. baking powder along with the flour. The apples were honey crisp instead of Granny Smiths, and their presence on the pancakes left no need for further sweetening, so no syrup. Incredibly yummy, glad the recipe was so flexible!!
I made these today and they were wonderful! I am a relative novice in the kitchen, and this was one of the first times I have made pancakes. They were fluffy, light, and the flavours were wonderful. My only problem was burning some of them on the pan as they cooked, however that just takes some practice I suppose. I absolutely loved the ricotta and I cannot wait to make them again. Thank you.
No milk in this recipe? Seems odd.
Ricotta works a lot like milk in recipes like this. There’s 1 1/3 cups.
I just made these this morning and substituted spelt flour for the all purpose. They turned out great. I mixed a bit of blueberry jam with maple syrup as a topping. My husband and I loved it! great way to use up ricotta.
I just stumbled on this site. I wish I had stumbled on it a lot earlier. Some of the recipes here are out of this world. I’ve never seen pancakes with ricotta, but they seem fantastic and it’s a brilliant idea. Great stuff. Thanks!
Heavenly is how I would describe these pancakes: airy…fluffy…moist…fresh. In the midst of a cold Chicago winter, they offer a hope for Spring. I chose this recipe because it did not have as much flour as others. I am trying to watch what I eat without ‘dieting.’ These were a perfect treat. I halved the recipe and omitted the apples and any syrup. A delightful way to get the protein of two eggs, some dairy and just enough carbs to fuel a walk through the forest preserve white with fresh snow. Thanks!
I made these today – soooooo good!! Perfectly balanced!
Quick question – do you think it would be ok to made the batter and then put it in the fridge to have later that day?
Ps I love your site, so many great recipes!
I just came across this recipe, it looks delicious, but it sounds like one of our redundant AM flight crew meals, this thin crepe thing with ricotta and “peaches” inside with a pile of apple strudel filling like stuff on top. If I get over the nauseous feeling I get when I think about that, I’ll be sure to try this, which I’m sure is a million times better! Maybe catering should switch to this recipe…
i made these today but freaked out at the thickness of the batter and the potential puffiness of the end product and so i added about a cup and a half of milk and cooked them on my crepe pan. delicious! i stuffed up the order of the apples and cooked them with the sugar and cinnamon with the butter but they were still great. thanks for the recipe
Thanks so much for this post, Deb! I didn’t see it the first time around and I was thrilled to find it upon waking this cool, blustery morning.
Ingredients? Check. Lazy Saturday schedule? Check. Is it overly indulgent to halve the recipe and make pancakes for yourself only? Nope. Awesome.
I too was freaked out by how the batter looked— trust the process, people! Neither Gourmet nor Deb will do you wrong.
For the gluten-free eaters out there, I used Cup4Cup and it turned out great.
What a treat!
Great timing! Apples have been on the counter for a little too long…
I forgot to mention that cooking them slowly on medium low is way better, allows them to cook through while not browning too much on the outside.
I made these this morning for breakfast. They are fantastic! Thank you Deb for never failing me, your recipes always work. Oh, my daughter and I decided that there was one thing missing from the presentation at the table… a dollop of whipped cream!
Just made these with ricotta left over from last night’s wild mushroom ravioli, several past-their-prime orchard apples, and a shriveled, vintage lemon half. For once, my folded-in egg whites didn’t collapse, but held the batter up in airy, moussey fashion, hence allowing for the structural soundness of these gorgeous, pouffy little beauties. Flavor balance was perfect–just the perfect hint of lemon. And, despite my fear that the interior would be slimy, what we got was just light, fluffy, and heavenly. Kid #1 (who eats everything) had three helpings; Kid #2 (who eats nothing) had two helpings, and Husband, who hates all things eggy, grabbed one on the run and pronounced it good. What he didn’t know about the four(!) eggs and their friend, ricotta (whom he also gives the stink eye) clearly didn’t hurt him.
I never remember to post feedback, but I’ve made a bunch of your recipes, Deb, with nary a fail–so thanks!
Oh–and I brushed the skillet with grapeseed oil when cooking the ‘cakes. I always cook mine in oil, not (oh, never!) because I have anything against butter; I just find that oil behaves better for this application.
Made these for a brunch I was hosting and they were a big hit! The only problem is, I have way too many sautéed apples leftover. Any suggestions on what to do with the leftover cooked apples?
Monica — In yogurt?
Hi Deb, I’ve made these before and loved them, and they deserve regular rotation. Could we please have metric conversions to make it faster? I love your scale + bowl = fewer dishes method! :)
Rose — Weights now added!
YUM! So worth whipping the egg whites separately! Light and fluffy… we had them with blueberries, because blueberries and lemons belong together. Thanks!
Just made these and they were everything you promised. I made maple sweetened whipped cream to put on top instead of maple syrup and it was amazing.
OMG I just omitted the lemon and instead added almond and vanilla extracts plus frozen cherries. To die for.
Just made these… SO yummy! They were great for using a bunch of ingredients that I had, but I think they will be a regular for me! They seem nice and light, and I loved the flavour! I almost didn’t make the sautéed apples, but they were the perfect addition.
Made these this am, very tasty. Will be good w blueberries in the summer.
Any suggestions for a sub for ricotta for those that can’t do dairy?
Hi Deb-I don’t have an electric mixer. Is it possible to whisk the egg whites adequately by hand? Thanks!
Absolutely, and you’ll get a good arm workout too.
Just made this for dinner tonight. My husband had oral surgery this morning and had 3 teeth extracted. He loves sautéed apples and pancakes and this was a perfect comfort food for him, plus the added protein of the ricotta. Delicious. Now I need more comfort food that he can eat. Thanks Deb.
My family thanks you for posting this on Instagram because it led to us having an incredible breakfast instead of having cereal. I can’t wait to make them again. They were fantastic.
I made these and I wasn’t a fan of the pancake consistency and found them tasteless. The apples were yummy but for me, the pancakes were alot of work for something not so special (and I always love your recipes).
I love pancakes but the reality is always way heavier than what I “taste” in my head. These were perfecT – like clouds! I didn’t have apples, but took some wilted strawberries, sliced and tossed them with a bit of sugar and lavender extract and they were delicious.
This is a bit embarrassing, but pancakes are my cooking nemesis. They just never turn out right, and I had pretty much given up making them at home. But when I saw these, I just HAD to try them, and I’m so glad I did. They were fantastic. While the sauteed apples made them extra special, the pancakes shone on their own. Will definitely make again!!
Forgot to mention – I was out of BUTTER (I know, I know, my husband forgot to tell me he used the last of it) so I cooked the apples and the pancakes in coconut oil. I couldn’t taste the coconut at all and it still all worked out beautifully, though I will definitely use butter next time!
Made these this weekend but without the apples. I didn’t have enough ricotta so I finished the measure with lemon curd Ellenos Greek yogurt. They were even better the second day, reheated in the toaster oven. Amazing.
Can I make the apples the night before?
I’d think so!
Made these with the homemade ricotta also from Deb and they were a huge hit!
Has anybody tried to make these as waffles? I’d like to ” waffle” these ( it’s a verb now!) To warm up in my toaster for weekday breakfasts and–who am I kidding?–snacks. Desserts maybe. Would the presence of ricotta complicate waffling?
I made these this morning for Canadian Thanksgiving brunch. So delicious! The extra effort for the apples was worth it (and frankly, not that much effort). Time saving tip: If you have a stand mixer, I’d say start whipping your whites before you assemble the rest of the pancake batter, that way you won’t have to wait for them to form stiff peaks.
i love your recipes, i have/& use both of your books! my question with regard to this recipe (lemon ricotta pancakes) do you think i could use matzo meal instead of flour to make them passover worthy? if not, do you have any recommendation ?
thank you in advance for your help and ideas
best regards – Alyssa Spitz
I haven’t tried it here but it’s possible it will be fine. Or, you could use a mix of matzo meal, almond meal, and maybe a starch.
Oh my! I just made these and added fresh blueberries to half of them (instead of making the apples). They are amazing either way! The blueberries added a fun twist. Thank you for this recipe!
So I just threw these together. Impressed the daylights out of everyone, myself included. I asked “who wants eggs?” and received a lukewarm response. So then I tried “Who wants lemon ricotta pancakes with warm sautéed apples?” These went together quickly and the results were outstanding. I changed nothing. I was just a bit loosey- goosey with the measurements, but it worked. This recipe fed three little piggies.
Served these sans apple to my two resident pancake divas who said these were “the best they ever had.” High praise! Instantly moved to top of my pancake rotation.
OK, yes, separating the egg whites and beating is indeed worth the effort. These are the fluffiest, most tender, most flavourful ricotta pancakes I’ve ever made or eaten. This recipe will now be my go-to. Thank you!
I made this for brunch with friends and it was great – delicious and fluffy pancakes. I loved the combination, and I didn’t feel the need for maple syrup (though the pancakes are more subtly flavoured than the stewed apple, which in my case was both tart and sweet and cinnamony – so I’d have them together, but don’t slather the pancakes in the stewed apple entirely, or you’ll overpower the delicate pancakes I think). This recipe made 10 pancakes for me using approx a quarter cup of batter per pancake, and served 4 people. Some notes: (1) the tubs of ricotta at my supermarket were 275g so I just used one whole tub instead of cutting into another. The pancakes were still plenty ricotta-ey and they held together well. (2) I was nervous when the recipe called for 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon zest, and I stopped after grating two lemons’ worth of zest even though I wasn’t sure I was at 1.5 tbsp yet. I needn’t have been nervous – the creaminess of the ricotta soaked up the zestiness so it just gave a nice lemony flavour in the background, not overpowering at all. (3) peeling and coring apples is too big of a job for the morning, so to get ahead, I chopped up the apples and froze the apple mixed with sugar and cinnamon a few days before. On brunch day, I heated up the apples in a little pot with butter and allowed it to simmer a bit while I was making pancakes. Great time saver!
These kinda of taste like the inside of a cannoli and I am a fan. My partner was not crazy about the texture because they were more fluffy/melt in your mouth than dense/cake-like. Would a little more flour help with her consistency preference without making them too dry? I want to find a compromise! lol