Yield 8 4-inch (10-cm) pancakes
These ricotta pancakes are extra fluffy, with an enticing milky taste and a custardy texture. The citrus fruit topping will brighten your breakfast table!
For the citrus topping
For the citrus syrup
For the pancakes
Using a Microplane, zest the citrus fruits you will use for the topping and set aside 1 tbsp (15 ml) packed mixed zest.
For the citrus fruit topping: Cut off both the top and the bottom of the citrus fruits. Stand one fruit on either of the flat ends. Run a very sharp paring knife along the fruit from top to bottom, removing the skin and pith, leaving the flesh bare. Repeat for all citrus fruits.
Now you can either slice or segment the citrus fruits.
To slice the fruits (easiest method): Turn the peeled fruits on their sides and slice them into rounds. Either leave them as whole, round slices, or cut again in halves or quarters. Transfer the prepared pieces of fruit in a bowl and set aside until service.
To segment the fruits (more elegant presentation): Take a peeled fruit in one hand, and carefully run a sharp knife alongside the membranes, leaving entirely bare pieces of fruit behind. You should make sure to do this over a bowl and squeeze the remaining membrane to catch all dripping juices, which you can use to make the syrup. Transfer the prepared pieces of fruit in a bowl and set aside until service.
Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, citrus fruit zest, and vanilla. Pour the ricotta mixture over the dry ingredients and stir gently, using a spatula, until just combined.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Using a spatula, stir a scoop of the egg whites into the pancake batter to lighten the batter, then add in the remaining whites, gently folding until no white streaks remain.
Cook the citrus syrup: Combine the citrus fruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the citrus has thickened to a maple syrup consistency. Transfer to a serving cup or glass bottle and set aside until service.
Cook the pancakes: Heat an electric griddle to medium, or a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the cooking surface with cooking spray. Use a 1/3 cup (80 ml) measure to pour batter onto the hot griddle or pan (use a spoon or a narrow spatula to help the batter out of the cup, if needed.) Cook the pancakes for about 4 minutes, until the undersides are golden and you can see a few bubbles popping through the pancakes. (If the underside of the pancakes seems to be browning too quickly, lower the heat.) Flip the pancakes and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the pancakes are golden, puffed and cooked through. Repeat to cook all pancakes. If desired, set the cooked pancakes on a baking sheet and place in a low oven to keep warm until service.
SERVING: Pile the pancakes on serving plates. Top with pieces of citrus fruits. Generously drizzle with citrus syrup and serve immediately.
Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin, FoodNouveau.com / Basic ricotta pancake recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
Recipe by Food Nouveau at https://foodnouveau.com/recipes/breakfast-brunch/citrus-ricotta-pancakes/