|Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, and Homemade Pancake Mix – recipes in post|
Pancakes are like happiness. They’re warm, and fluffy, and melting, and sweet… they’re like pillows of flavor, clouds of yumminess, and make weekend mornings say *sunshine*, even if they’re really cloudy and grey. I mean, come on… they’ve got the word ‘cake’ in them!
That’s why I wanted to make pancakes this weekend. Here, in Michigan, in the heart of winter… I could use a little sunshine!
I’m as supportive of local, seasonal ingredients as the next foodie, but after a month or two without warmth and sunlight I get a hankering for fresh fruits and summer produce such that I throw up my hands and pay the exorbitant prices for a pint of simple berries… but I don’t regret it. Blueberries, you were so worth it!
I also reach for citrus during the winter, because it’s not only available year-round, but cuts through the grey skies and kicks the winter blahs in the behind. Lemons are like ninjas, in that way. Behind-kicking ninjas.
I’ve included two recipes in this post – one for Make-Your-Own Pancake Mix, which I like to have on hand for busy weekday mornings, and one for these Lemon Blueberry Pancakes, which are a perfectly decadent weekend treat.
|My apron which says, “Honey come from bees, apples from trees, but pancakes come from heaven” – it’s only my favorite apron ever!|
Most mornings I’m in no mood to measure, whisk, whip, or otherwise use any brain-power to prepare my breakfast. Which explains why you don’t see a whole lot of breakfast recipes around here. But that’s where this homemade pancake mix comes into play! Making it up before-hand is easy and inexpensive (and way better than store-bought), and means that I have it on hand for those busier mornings when all I have the energy for is to mix in some eggs and milk.
This mix is ideal for buttermilk pancakes, but if you’re like me you probably don’t always have buttermilk on hand… so let me share with you a little trick: Add a splash of white vinegar (about a TBSP) to a 1 cup measure. Fill the cup with regular whole milk, give it a little stir, and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to sour while you grab the rest of your ingredients. Viola, buttermilk!
This is hands-down the best pancake mix I’ve used, which makes me think store-bought mixes are doing something funky to their ingredients… because all it is is flour, leavening (baking powder/soda), salt, and sugar. I mean, come on… how easy is this? Too easy, that’s how.
|Homemade Pancake Mix|
Make-Your-Own Buttermilk Pancake Mix
3 cups all-purpose flour (could probably be subbed with other kinds of flour, but I haven’t experimented with any)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 TBSP sugar, depending on how sweet you like it (I don’t use much sugar in the mix, because I know I can always add more later).
To make (serves 3-4)
1 cup of mix
1 cup of buttermilk (or whole milk mixed with a splash of white vinegar)
1-2 eggs (I like two, but that’s just personal preference)
2 TBSP melted butter
Splash of vanilla extract, or other flavoring
Fruit/berries, nuts, chocolate chips, or any other add-ins you like – optional
Dry mix: Whisk together all ingredients, and store in an airtight container in a dry place for up to several months (or to the expiration date of your baking powder, whichever comes first). I like stick a label to the side with directions for preparing, so I don’t have to remember any measurements.
To make: Beat the eggs and stir together all wet ingredients. Add to the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined (don’t worry about lumps!). If you’re using any fruit, nuts, or other add-ins, mix them in at the end. Lightly grease a pan or griddle over medium-high heat, and pour the batter in 1/4-1/2 cup amounts. Watch for bubbles to break on the surface of the pancake, then flip and cook on the second side until lightly browned. Finished pancakes can be kept warm in an oven preheated to it’s lowest temperature until ready to serve. Serve with butter, syrup, fresh berries, powdered sugar, etc.
Having a good basic pancake mix on hand is great for busy mornings, but on the weekends I’m perfectly happy to take my time, especially if it means making something a bit decadent. Whipping the eggwhites for these is an extra little step that is well worth the effort, and a dollop of ricotta in the batter adds a whole ‘nother level of lusciousness. I chose to top mine with honey instead of syrup, because I like the way honey and lemon and blueberries play together. Maple syrup, agave, or a bit of powdered sugar would do fine as well.
I chose to use lemons and blueberries because they suited my mood the best. It may not be very original, but it sure is tasty! Other combinations of citrus and fruit would work just as well, though (think, orange & strawberry, lemon & raspberry, lime & blackberry…). The possibilities are endless!
|Lemon Blueberry Pancakes|
1 cup buttermilk pancake mix (recipe above)
2 eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 TBSP lemon zest (or orange or other citrus zest)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 drops almond extract*
Pinch of salt
1 pint blueberries, fresh or frozen, plus more for garnish (or other fruit/berry)
Butter or oil, for the pan
*I like to use a tiny bit of almond extract in my pancakes. It isn’t enough to make them taste ‘almondy’, but rounds out the flavor and adds a little extra something… shh! It’s my secret ingredient!
1. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the milk and lemon juice. Set aside.
Measure the pancake mix into a separate bowl, and set aside.
Separate the eggs, and place the whites into a very clean glass or metal mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, and set aside.
2. Mix together the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and extracts. Add in the milk and lemon juice mixture, and stir well. Pour into the bowl of pancake mix, and stir until just combined (don’t worry about any lumps).
3. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the eggwhites along with a small pinch of salt to medium-stiff peaks. Gentle fold half of the whipped eggwhites into the pancake batter to lighten it, then the rest of the eggwhites. Fold until well-combined, but try to work gently to keep the whites from deflating.
4. If you’re using frozen berries, toss them with a spoonful of flour, or more pancake mix – this will keep them from streaking your batter, and prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Add your berries to the batter, mixing gently.
5. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and grease lightly with butter or oil. Pour or ladle the batter in 1/4-1/2 cup portions, and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the edges begin to set up. (Note: Because of the ricotta in the batter, you probably won’t see any bubbles on the surface of the pancake to tell you when it’s time to flip. When you think they might be ready, use your spatula to peak under the edge and see if they’re browned.) Flip, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Serve with fresh fruit, honey, syrup, powdered sugar, or whatever you like.
Congratulations, it’s officially the weekend – one bite of these and it doesn’t matter what day it is!