Is there an ingredient that you find time and again just doesn’t get used up in your home?  You know, you buy it for one recipe, use some and then it sits until it’s growing other stuff?  Normally I’m pretty good about being resourceful and using up leftovers but in my fridge, leftover ricotta gets pushed farther and farther to the back until I discover it weeks (okay, months) later and am scared to even see what state it is in.  I recently bought blackberries on sale with no real purpose in mind, and I had leftover ricotta from making ravioli.  Hence, these pancakes.  Plus, there is just nothing better than seeing the smile on my little guy’s face when I go get him out of bed in the morning and tell him we’re having pancakes.  He cannot get down the stairs fast enough :)

As with waffles, we have found that pancakes freeze well, so I make the full batch of batter and freeze all the leftovers for future quick breakfasts or snacks.  The blackberry sauce was a natural compliment to these waffles since the flavor pairs so well with lemon.  No butter, syrup or whipped cream required.  The airy texture and fresh fruit flavor of these pancakes made them seem a lighter breakfast than most pancakes, which usually make me want to go back to bed.  (Speaking of which, have you seen the Jim Gaffigan stand-up routine about cake?  Hilarious.  He discusses pancakes around 1:15.)  Instead, I was able to head out and have a great time at my yoga class.  That’s my kind of Sunday morning.

  • Yield about 12 pancakes


For the blackberry sauce:

  • 12 oz. blackberries, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. cold water

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups cake flour*
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • 01

    To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering.  Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and keep warm if desired.  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

  • 02

    To make the pancakes, combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until incorporated.  In another clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat, adding the sugar gradually, until medium-soft peaks form.

  • 03

    Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture with a spatula until completely incorporated.  Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until the mixture is smooth and light.

  • 04

    Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Grease as needed.  Ladle a scant ½ cup of batter onto the cooking surface for each pancake.  Allow to cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Use a large spatula to carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until light golden and cooked through.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  If desired, keep finished pancakes warm in a 200˚ F oven until all the batter is cooked.  Serve warm with fresh blackberry sauce.