The Miami restaurant Rosie’s: The Backyard is known for offering unique spins on Southern classics, and the popular lemon ricotta pancakes—drizzled with fresh berries and topped with meringue—are no exception. The dish is also an example of how you don’t have to love a food to be inspired by it. “My experience with pancakes hasn’t always been enjoyable,” says Akino West, the restaurant’s chef and co-owner. “I wanted to create something that I would enjoy, which is a lighter, fluffy, and fruity pancake that is well balanced.”
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Macerated Berries (Yield: 5 servings)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups white sugar (reserve ½ cup sugar for meringue)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
6 eggs (separate yolk and whites, reserving whites for meringue)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups whole-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups strawberries or your desired berry, quartered
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Prep the macerated strawberries: Toss sliced strawberries with sugar, zest, and lemon juice and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. A thin syrup will develop and lightly coat the strawberries.
Make the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the milk mixture and whisk until just combined. It should be a little lumpy.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold ricotta into mixture and set aside, allowing to rest in a refrigerated space. While the batter is resting, take the reserved egg whites and sugar and whip with a mixer until you have high peaks or the consistency is similar to a meringue. Gently fold whipped egg whites into mixture with a rubber spatula; be careful not to over-mix. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
Lightly grease a griddle or cast-iron pan with non-stick spray and allow the heat to come up to medium-high. Spoon about ¼ cup of batter into the pan. Allow the batter to cook until the edges are golden brown the pancake creates bubbles, and then flip.
Plate pancakes and top with berry mixture.
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