Blueberry season is second only to tomato season, both in my eyes and in my heart. Here in New Jersey we’re so lucky to have the BEST blueberries in the world. And I mean it! Wherever you are in the country, go into the grocery store and look at the cartons of blueberries in the produce department. There’s a good chance they will say “Hammonton, NJ” on the label, which is considered the blueberry capital of the world.
This time of year I hoard all the blueberries I can, buying them up at farmer’s markets and freezing them for a later date. We put them in smoothies, bake them into pies, tarts, cakes and puddings, sprinkle them over yogurt, turn them into ice-cream, bake them into oatmeal, and speckle them into pancakes.
These pancakes are super light and fluffy thanks to the addition of ricotta cheese and carefully whipping the egg whites. A hint of lemon zest and juice scents the pancakes with citrus and compliments the blueberry flavor. Lemon and blueberries are a classic combination and create magic when they come together.
I hope you give this recipe a try this weekend, or any weekend, while blueberries are still in season. For any locals, I’ll be demonstrating this recipe tomorrow at the Brigantine Farmer’s Market, in addition to judging the blueberry pie contest (I’m a lucky gal). If you’ll be in town, please stop by to say hello and eat some pancakes!
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- 2 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- Butter, for cooking
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- Butter for serving (optional)
- Maple syrup for serving (optional)
- Extra blueberries for serving (optional)
- Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, then whisk until no lumps remain.
- Use an electric hand mixer two whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, then use a rubber spatula to carefully fold the whites into the batter.
- Melt butter in a large skillet or griddle, then use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the batter to form pancakes. Sprinkle with a few blueberries, and once golden around the edges, give them a flip. Cook until golden on the other side, then remove to a serving plate.
- To make the topping, whisk together the heavy cream, lemon zest and powdered sugar until soft peaks form, then whisk in the ricotta.
- Serve the pancakes immediately with a dollop of whipped ricotta cream, or with butter and syrup. Sprinkle withe extra blueberries if desired.
- Freeze leftover pancakes on a large baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a zip-top bag and store for up to 3 months.