Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Did you know that the hallmark of a great pancake is that it can be eaten without mounds of syrup?

The lemon and ricotta flavors meld together nicely and enhance each other’s delicate profiles so amazingly well. A fresh cheese with a slightly sweet flavor, ricotta is produced from whey drained off while making other cheeses, such as mozzarella and provolone. It lends a delicate texture to these melt-in-your-mouth pancakes.The ricotta also adds just enough moisture, giving these pancakes such a tender crumb that you will not be able to resist.Be sure to fold the ricotta into the batter very gently: that way, when you bite into the pancake, you get these pockets of pillowy ricotta.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, plus more as needed
Powdered sugar, fresh  fruit, or  syrup, for serving (optional)

Preheat cast iron skillet moderately-high heat.

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Make a well in center of flour mixture and set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, ricotta, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Then, whisk lemon zest with lemon juice and add to milk mixture along with melted butter and blend until combined.

Pour into flour mixture and whisk just to combined. The batter should appear to be slightly lumpy.

Add the coconut oil to the to the skillet. Pour about 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter onto the oiled skillet and cook the pancakes until bubbles begin to appear on surface and bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. When done, remove the pancakes from the skillet.

Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar if desired and drizzled with maple or  raspberry syrup.