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Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes

Sometimes, all I need is a beauty and a beat pancakes and Bisquick mix gets the job done like nothing else. I always have a stash in the pantry for impromptu pancakes, which, let's be real, are simply a vehicle for chocolate chips which I pack into those bad boys like it's 1999. I also then scoop on some espresso ice cream and squirt (I feel like there should be a better word for the GLORIOUS sound made by a Reddi-wip can, but I digress.) some whipped cream on top so that I can watch Barefoot Contessa at 10AM on a Saturday while eating an ice cream sundae for breakfast and have absolutely no shame about it because it's pancakes.

All that said, the other day I had some ricotta cheese left over from one of Dan's adventures in lasagna, so I decided to give my beloved Bisquick a rest and actually make some pancakes from scratch. I'd heard tons of people mention putting ricotta in their pancakes, so why not give that a whirl, right?

Here's the thing about homemade pancakes: they're hard to make beautifully brown, they're often thin and doughy and they're easy to dry out. Bisquick has browning agents and a perfectly tested recipe that you really cannot screw up. Similarly, homemade pancakes aren't as simple as one might think. You're essentially baking, and baking first thing on a Saturday morning is not anybody's forte. Happily, the recipe I adapted (ever so slightly from The Kitchn) was totally smart.

By adding in beaten, fluffy egg whites, the pancakes stayed airy and light despite the ooey gooey and dense ricotta. The perfect amount of sugar and the right nonstick skillet also help the pancakes to come out beautifully brown. Get started on these pancakes early. You'll want to let your ricotta drain and your egg whites sit for a bit to get rid of excess liquid, but the result will definitely hit the spot-- almost as much as my pancake sundae.

Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes

makes 8

1 cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

pinch salt

3/4 cup milk

3 eggs yolks

3 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint blueberries

1. Set ricotta in a fine mesh strainer about 30 minutes before you start cooking, to drain off excess liquid. Depending on which brand you're using, you may have zero to two tablespoons of drained liquid.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

4. Melt 1 tbsp of butter over nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Use a ladle to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, dropping in 5-8 blueberries each. Then flip, cooking until both sides are golden brown.

5. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with real maple syrup and a pad of butter.

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