1 tbsp Meyer lemon (or any citrus) zest, plus more for topping
butter for the pan
confectioners’ sugar for topping
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serve with plenty of chamomile whipped cream, lemon zest, and confectioners’ sugar.
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.