Ricotta cheese lends a delicate, airy texture to these mini pancakes, and freshly grated lemon zest adds a hint of citrus flavor. Served with a warm compote of fresh tart-sweet berries, they are the perfect fare for a light summer meal. Blueberries can also be used in place of, or along with, the blackberries and/or raspberries.
Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Compote
3 cups (12 oz/375 g) blackberries and/or raspberries
1/2 cup (5 1/2 oz/170 g) pure maple syrup
15 oz (470 g) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup (2 oz/60 g) all purpose-flour
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Canola oil or clarified butter for cooking
Combine the berries and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the berries begin to release some juices, about 3 minutes. Set aside in the saucepan and keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, flour, egg yolks, sugar, melted butter, lemon zest, and vanilla. In another bowl, using a clean whisk or a handheld mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Scoop the whites onto the batter, and using the whisk, fold them in evenly.
Place a griddle over medium heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form on the surface, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other sides are golden, about 1 minute more. Transfer to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all of the batter is used, oiling the griddle as needed.
Pour the warm berry compote into a serving bowl. Serve the pancakes piping hot, with the compote on the side. Serves 4.
Variation: The pancakes are equally delicious served with fresh, uncooked fruit, such as sliced peaches, apricots, or plums.