meyer lemon ricotta pancakes, with chamomile whipped cream

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whipped Cream

I kind of think any day that begins with homemade pancakes is bound to be a good one. Our Fourth of July began with these. There was no work for either of us (a real rarity for Bowl #2), no grand cookout plans or things that needed doing, just a quiet, rainy day with these pancakes, video games, and the glorious return of the fireworks to the East River on the horizon. (By the way, I also think any day that begins with the boot-up jingle of a video game console is guaranteed to be a winner. Regardless of how old you are.)

The idea for these began in the leftover cream and milk from the ricotta I made a few weeks ago, but it didn’t become a plan until I was digging around in the recesses of our crisper drawers and found (in a fit of excitement) a hefty bag of Meyer lemons that our friends left us when they moved out. (If you have friends moving out of their apartments, especially super cool and food-savvy friends with penchants for fancy brands of mustard, move in. They will leave you three types of jam you’ve never heard of and Thai drinking vinegar and hardy fresh oregano that refuses to die under your black thumb. And three weeks later you will find inexplicably fresh Meyer lemons.)

Lemon ricotta pancakes are as fluffy as their buttermilk counterparts, but the ricotta lends them a creamier, denser texture and flavor, while an extra egg adds a hint of custard to the mix.  The “Meyer”-ness of the lemons is at its height when zested, and the extra zest on top is lively, yet sweet.  But what truly stole my heart was the chamomile whip —  the light floral notes from the tea add an irresistible buoyancy to heavy cream, even without any extra sugar.  Whipped cream at breakfast (waffles!) always seems to add a touch of celebration to the whole meal, but this delicate chamomile confection takes it to a new level.  The perfect start to a long weekend.

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile WhipMeyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile WhipMeyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whipped Cream

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whip

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whip

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whip

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whipped Cream

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, with Chamomile Whipped Cream

For more chamomile-infused goodness:  Chamomile-Thyme Chess Pies | Chamomile Panna Cotta | Yellow Cake Roll with Chamomile Whipped Cream (!)

Meyer lemon ricotta pancakes, with chamomile whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • for the chamomile whipped cream:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bag chamomile tea or 1 tbsp loose chamomile
  • 1 tsp confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • for the pancakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (plus a few more tablespoons if ricotta is particularly liquid)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, homemade or storebought
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp Meyer lemon (or any citrus) juice
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon (or any citrus) zest, plus more for topping
  • butter for the pan
  • confectioners’ sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Make ahead: The night before or several hours before, combine the cream and chamomile in a small saucepan over low heat. Just before it simmers, remove from heat and let cool for 15-30 minutes at room temperature. Remove the teabag or strain the chamomile out through a fine mesh strainer, squeezing the chamomile to extract the most flavor. Chill the cream in the refrigerator completely. Note that it should be completely cold for the cream to whip -- I did this the night before. Also, if you're making your ricotta at home, do this ahead of time as well.
  2. Right before you’re ready to make the pancakes, use an electric mixer or plenty of arm strength (or a Mason jar) to whip the cream to firm peaks, or your desired consistency. If using an electric beater, set the beater to medium or lower and take care not to overbeat (or else you’ll get butter!) Replace in the fridge while you make the pancakes. Optional: Add a teaspoon of confectioners' sugar to the cream after it reaches soft peaks for a hint of sweetness. I just saved it for the topping, but it's up to you.
  3. To make the pancakes, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients gently in the wet until just incorporated and small lumps remain. If batter is too liquid, sprinkle a few more tablespoons of flour over the mixture and mix very gently again to incorporate.
  5. In a small bowl or cup, whip the egg white with an electric beater (or, again, with plenty of arm strength) until it reaches medium peaks. Fold the egg white very gently into the pancake batter until only partially incorporated, leaving wisps of egg white visible.
  6. Heat a pat of butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, you're ready to cook. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup, drop batter onto the skillet (you may need to spread it a bit with your cup to form a circle). When bubbles pop on the pancake and leave a momentary hole, flip the pancake to cook the other side. Let cook for 1-2 more minutes, then remove and set aside. (Optionally, store the pancakes on an oven-proof plate in an oven set to its lowest temperature to keep the pancakes warm.) Repeat until batter is all gone.
  7. Serve with plenty of chamomile whipped cream, lemon zest, and confectioners’ sugar.

Notes

Whether or not you add the confectioners' sugar as a last touch on top or in the whipped cream itself, don't omit it -- I thought a touch of sugar was key to bringing together the floral notes in the whipped cream and the creaminess of the pancakes.

http://tworedbowls.com/2014/07/16/lemon-ricotta-pancakes/

84 comments

  1. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 7:25 am

    When I leave this place, the people who buy our house will receive giant fur balls and some dirty windows. {Classy.} Moving on, I saw that sprinkly photo on instagram last night I almost barfed from its awesomeness. Now I want to start the day eating pancakes and taking photos of icing sugar falling from the sky…

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Dude, same here, except instead of giant fur balls it’ll be giant balls of my hair, which is… maybe not what I should be disclosing on a food blog. Tasty. Also, I really want to try making your fat sparrows! I drool about them whenever I think of maximally floofy-soft pancakes.

      Second also, I was definitely going to call them “fat pigeons” until just now when I listened to the twinge inside me that said “that doesn’t sound quite right…” & looked it up on your blog.

  2. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Cynthia, you have got a definite way with pancakes, my friend. Erry time I see a pancake recipe on my blog, I can’t stahp staring at it! These are no exception – totally glorious, as always.

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Aw, Sarah!! It’s funny, I actually never realized that I had a thing for pancakes until they kept cropping up on my blog … they’re so fun to shoot, aren’t they? (And patient, unlike some foods.) Thanks so much for your sweet words <3!! Time to go back to drooling over your single lady pancakes. (That sounds suggestive, somehow.)

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      No shame in being a homebody, right? 😉 Thanks, Steph!! Hope you and the baby girl are doing wonderfully <3

  3. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

    i am always so excited by your pancakes – the photos, the ingredients, and ease in which you inspire! but seriously. these shots are beautiful! can i live on your windowsill? – so gorgeous! your 4th sounded totally perfect, and i’m glad you two had the day to chill! hugs to you, lovely friend! xo

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Lindsey! You always make me smile. Thanks so much for such sweet words <3 So many hugs and hope you're having the best time in my old neighborhood! 🙂

  4. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Wishing my 4th and today would have started with these. I love lemon ricotta pancakes, but yours just look so perfect/ The photos are gorgeous and I love your cute little window!

  5. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Ricotta pancakes have to one of my lazy single lady meals. No meal is of limits;lunch, breakfast or dinner. I really love that they are fluffy with a slight taste of cheesecake.Also, I seriously love the lighting you have in these photos; a food photographer’s dream<3

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 18, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Yes!! They do have that hint of cheesecake-y dessert decadence … I looove that. Thank you so much, Belinda!

  6. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 9:47 am

    One of my favorite brunch spots here in SF, Plow, does a really good lemon ricotta pancake but these sound better! Chamomile whipped cream seals the deal for sure. Looking forward to a no work and no grand plans day!

  7. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Oh, these pancakes are so totally dreamy. I love that morning light and the sense of peace + calm you’ve captured in your photographs; the perfect way to start a holiday day.

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 21, 2014 at 10:31 am

      <3 You always leave the most thoughtful comments, Kathryn. Wishing you a safe flight this week (and can't wait to meet you in person so very soon!)

  8. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Such gorgeous photos!!!!! And I really don’t know what I love most, Meyer lemon ricotta pancakes OR chamomile whipped cream, BUT I for sure love the combination SO SO MUCH. I wish my day start with your pancake today. 🙂

  9. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 11:14 am

    OMG you have such a way with chamomile. And flavors in general.

    OKAY HELLO THAT SHOT OF THE POWDERED SUGAR?!?! Dying. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. I just want to frame it and stare at it all day. The light in these photos is just. beyond. The view out of your window looks so green and gorgeous!! I want to live with Lindsey on your windowsill 🙂

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Having you and Lindsey both in my place would be such a dream!!! <3 Thank you so much for your kind words always, Erika!

    • tworedbowls says:

      July 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

      I’d trade you some of these pancakes for your chamomile cake roll! I think I’d be getting the sweeter deal in that exchange, no pun intended. And agh, hope everything’s okay over there, friend <3 I'm sending you virtual hugs and good thoughts to your 宝贝 🙁

  10. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I totally agree with Kathryn, these pictures are so incredibly calming! I feel like I can smell and hear everything that is going on in this picture. Seeing an image like this makes me so exciting to get into the kitchen right away! Your work is so inspiring friend!!

  11. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Wow, I think I will have to go grocery shopping this weekend to make these pancakes. Looks so delicious! You had me at chamomile whipped cream!!

  12. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    looks heavenly! and the photos are always amazing! and i love that you get to squeeze in video games 🙂 i love playing games with my husband too!

  13. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    i’m loving your new home cynthia! the light is so gorgeous. so happy that you and bowl 2 got to slow down and savour your morning with these pancakes. i absolutely LOVE ricotta pancakes. and i have some ricotta in the fridge right now…these guys are definitely calling my name!

  14. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    These sound really amazing – how cool is that you found nifty fresh meyer lemons in your ‘fridge? The only interesting thing that happened in my apartment is the hand soap disappearing from the counter…. And you have TREES! I’m so jealous.

  15. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    That powdered sugar shot reminds me of a perfect rainy sunday in. One of my gals makes meyer lemon ricotta pancakes and they are so fluffy I want to make a blanket out of them and take a nap with their aromas surrounding me. You know, totally normal food activities. I bet yours are at least that yummy.

  16. says:

    July 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I would like to dive face-first into that stack of pancakes! Now I will be dreaming of chamomile whipped cream for the rest of the evening. Love love love these photos esp. that levitating shred of lemon zest catching the light! Gorgeous.

  17. Meghan says:

    July 17, 2014 at 12:50 am

    So, uh, did they also leave behind a collection of drop dead gorgeous photos to go along with said lemons, or is this just you being awesome all over again? I think you’ve created the stack of my dreams.

  18. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Ricotta pancakes in all its fluffy, creamy, amazingness is my favourite thing to wake up to! Your stacks look incredible with the perfect dollop of chamomile cream! And that shot of the icing sugar being sieved is pure magical.

  19. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I’m totally amazed by that chamomile cream! Will I ever want my whipped cream any other way? So simple yet so genius. Also, these pancakes look luscious; the perfect way to start a day. I always get a bit sad when people post Meyer lemon recipes as they can’t be found here in Scandinavia… Or at least I’ve never come across them. They flavor must be amazing. Another reason to visit the US again.

    P.S. Love the feeling in these pictures!

  20. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I’m dying over how pretty the light in these photos is! I can’t express how incredibly jealous I am that you have Meyer Lemons IN JULY! That doesn’t happen down in Texas a.k.a. the produce wasteland.

    And not that is needs saying but…OMG PANCAKES

  21. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Cynthiaaaa your writing is just as warm and cozy as your photos of these delightful pancakes! I want to live in your weekend morning-land ALL THE TIME. Perfection! We made lemon-ricotta pancakes for our annual After-Christmas Breakfast-for-Dinner party but these are kind of another story altogether! Taller, fluffier 🙂 That whipped cream sounds crazy-good! xo

  22. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Such a lovely post, Cynthia! I could feel every relaxing moment that you and Bowl #2 shared that morning. You guys deserve it! And a big yes to video games. I derived so much enjoyment from my old Nintendo console and Gameboy as a kid. These photos are beautiful as usual – I just love the scene you set up and the incredible lighting. I just want to step into my computer screen and have a seat at your table, with a giant stack of pancakes and chamomile cream, of course!

  23. says:

    July 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Cynthia, I have had pancakes somewhat similar and always wanted to re-create them, you have made these into quite a masterpiece, love your whip cream! Pinned!

  24. says:

    July 18, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I was just planning a “pancake sunday” and these delcious pancake are what I’m going to make! I usually make my own and never buy the mix (you really don’t find it in Italy), but I’d like to try your receipe for a change
    Thanks
    Isabel

  25. says:

    July 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    The picture with the powdered sugar cascading on the pancakes! I visit A LOT of food blogs and that is the most striking picture I’ve seen in a while…and I don’t even like pancakes too much haha. Lovely lighting/photography/everything.

  26. says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    SHOWER ME WITH ICING SUGAR AND LET ME BATHE IN CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM! that icing sugar dusting onto the pancake pile is my favourite photo of the YEAR. sounds like a perfectly mellow J4. xo

  27. says:

    July 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I always chuckle when you say “Bowl #2” – so cute. I usually am not a huge floral flavor fan, but I LOVE ricotta pancakes and totally see that combination! What I really need to know though, is how you get your pancakes to cook SO EVENLY.

  28. says:

    July 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I only just stumbled upon this post Cynthia and these pancakes look so dreamy! Chamomile is such a wonderful delicate flavour – I love it with pears and strawberries (in fact I only just typed up a recipe with chamomile and strawberries last night) but have yet to try it with lemon. And yet, it sounds such like such a no-brainer (I actually think chamomile tastes a bit lemony). I am with Sini though in that it is so sad you cannot get Meyer lemons here.

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