Baking powder ruins a perfectly good pancake. There, I said it. Go ahead. Label me anti-American. Pancakes that rely on baking powder for fluff taste like pounded-down muffins sopped in syrup. (Good morning, dry mouth! Good morning, sugar headache!)
No, in my sleepy world of pajamas and coffee, pancakes should be like a cloud, eggy and moist with a hint of sweetness and a golden exterior. Add an exotic flavor, like citrus or liqueur, and wash it all down with strong coffee, and I'll be awake in no time.
The fluffiness from this pancake comes from beating the egg whites and then folding them into the batter. Balanced against the rich texture of ricotta cheese, this pancake is both airy and creamy.
Orange Ricotta Pancakes
4 large eggs, separated
¾ cup whole milk ricotta
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Combine egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, orange zest, orange blossom water, flour, and milk and blend well. Depending on the moisture level of the ricotta, you may need to add a few more tablespoons of flour. The texture at this stage should be viscous, like honey dripping off a spoon.
Beat the egg whites into soft peaks and immediately fold into the pancake batter.
Heat a griddle on medium until hot. Melt the butter and spread it evenly across the griddle with a basting brush.
In batches, pour the pancake batter so that each pancake is about four inches wide. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side. Flip, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the second side.
Keep pancakes warm in the oven while making the remaining batches. Serve with syrup, jam, or fresh berries. Top with powdered sugar.