These big golden pancakes are the perfect contrast the the piquant sweetness of the rich blackberry butter.
Ricotta pancakes are thick and fluffy, with a creamier centre than classic American-style ones. Unlike with our traditional pancake recipe, we recommend separating the egg yolks and whites here. Beating the egg whites to stiff peaks makes the the pancakes lighter. We’ve used wild blackberries in this recipe, which are free and plentiful almost everywhere in the country in late summer and autumn. However, if you want to make this for Shrove Tuesday, we recommend frozen blackberries. They will be sweet and juicy and have a nice tenderness, perfect for this sauce.
- For the blackberry butter:
- 300g (10oz) wild blackberries
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 150g (5oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- For the pancakes:
- 250g tub ricotta cheese
- 125ml (4fl oz) full-fat milk
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 100g (3½oz) plain flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 3 pinches of salt
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 30g (1oz) butter
- Extra blackberries, to serve
To make the butter, gently heat the berries, lemon juice and sugar in a small pan for 5-6 mins, until they look soft but not broken down. Leave for at least 15 mins to cool. Soften the butter in a bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled blackberries then chill for 30 mins. Divide into portions for serving now, and freezing for later, if required.
To make the pancakes, set the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 for keeping the pancakes warm. Put the ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat well with electric beaters. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder, salt and sugar, and fold in to make a smooth batter. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites, with clean beaters, to soft peak stage, then fold into the batter mixture.
Heat a little of the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and cook 4-5 small pancakes at a time (about 5cm/2in in diameter each) for 1-2 mins each side until golden and cooked through. Make 32, and keep them warm in the oven on a baking tray.
Warm through as much blackberry butter as you need to spoon over portions of pancakes and top with a few extra blackberries, if you have them.
Top tips for making ricotta pancakes
To freeze, put the blackberry butter in a tub, seal and freeze. Use within 3 months. With the pancakes, layer them up in a plastic food container, inter-leaving with baking paper then seal and freeze. Use within 3 months. Warm from frozen in the oven.