Sunday brunch: Ricotta pancakes

Pancakes at the Paventi house are usually of the adult nature, which is to say they have booze in them. I’ve taken to improving on the Bisquick-milk-egg combination with powdered sugar and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Depending on the mood I’m in, there is either a hint of alcohol or the need for a Breathalyzer test.

With quiche on the menu for Sunday’s Mother’s Day brunch, I was looking for something a pancake with attitude, but one that I could also feed to my 1-year, 11-month and two-day old child.

Enter ricotta cheese.

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Now, it’s not as if ricotta brings a huge flavor change to the batter. It makes it creamier and denser, resulting in a thicker finished pancake. When combined with Bisquick, the batter was amazingly thick and almost impossible to combine with my whisk. Had I thought of it, I would have used the slow speed of an electric hand mixer.

One of my pancake tricks was lifted from Emeril Lagasse. He made breakfast on his now shuttered “Emeril Live” show and explained that you should mix your pancake batter the night before. By letting it refrigerate overnight, any air trapped in while mixing will escape and cause your batter to thicken more. I gave mine a couple of hours in the fridge to do its thing and, even though this was super thick, I still had the telltale pinholes of escaped air.

And, yes, I used Bisquick. I could very easily have made my own mix of flour and baking powder, but I really didn’t see the purpose. Like pie crust, there are somethings that I know I can’t do well and that I don’t want to clean up after. So, Bisquick for the win.

Just for fun, I made the batch half plain and half blueberry. They added a nice tart bite to the finished product.

Ricotta pancakes
Adapted from Marguerite Henderson

  • 4 cups Bisquick
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pt. fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Combine Bisquick, buttermilk, ricotta, eggs and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate at least two hours, or up to overnight, to thicken.

Heat an electric skillet or griddle to high and grease with butter. When the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup scoops of batter to the cooking surface. Cook 2-3 minutes each side, then remove and keep warm.

For blueberry pancakes, add batter to the pan and drop 6-8 blueberries on the top side of the pancake. Cook 2 minutes, flip, then cook 2-3 minutes. Never mix your blueberries in with the batter, otherwise your batter will come out gray.

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