I will now share with you a short excerpt of dialogue from the pilot episode of Arrested Development.
Jason Bateman: What have we always said is the most important thing?
Michael Cera: Breakfast.
Jason Bateman: …Family.
Michael Cera: Oh, right, family. I thought you meant of the things we eat.
Even if I didn’t love Arrested Development, didn’t have all (too few) of the seasons on DVD, and wasn’t anxiously awaiting (read: freaking out about) the new episodes slash upcoming film, I think I would still consider this interchange to be the sentiment upon which I have built my life. Most important thing? Family. But actually? Breakfast. Absolutely breakfast.
Eating first thing in the morning is romantic to me, luxurious and exciting and comfortable. Is that weird? Breakfast foods are undoubtedly homey, often perfectly balancing rich and light, salty and sweet, savory and a little bit fruity. At home, my family calls any breakfast that is bigger than a bowl of cereal a “bad breakfast,” and by bad we mean super super good. Bad breakfasts occur on the Saturday mornings that mom pulls the griddle out from under the oven to make her specialty, what my dad calls “just enough batter to hold the blueberries together.” They are the pancakes of the gods. I want to weep when I see them.
In an attempt to tackle a different kind of fruited pancake, I whipped up a batch of these Lemon Ricotta ones with Raspberry Sauce the other morning. They were light, suuuper fruitastic and flavorful, and sent me directly to the couch in a food coma because I ate…I think 7. Oof. No regrets.
Kendra Vaculin is embarrassed about how many things in her fridge and pantry she has smothered in leftover raspberry sauce in the last three days. She considered pouring it over a salad in lieu of dressing at one point, which was definitely rock bottom. She is a junior at Northwestern University, and also writes the food and fashion blog North South East Dressed.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Makes approx. 15 5 inch pancakes
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk
the juice and zest of 1 lemon
Mix all dry ingredients (the first five listed) into a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together ricotta, eggs, milk, and lemon juice and zest. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet one, mixing until just incorporated.
Heat a large greased skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Cook on both sides until golden brown (a good way to know its time to flip: bubbles on the uncooked side of the pancake have formed and popped).
To serve, top pancakes with raspberry sauce (recipe below), additional lemon zest and/or powdered sugar. Eat eat eat.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: this recipe is rustic, a word which here means lazy. If you would like / have time / own a wire mesh strainer, the final step of this process would be straining the seeds from your sauce. I don’t mind seeds, don’t have a strainer, and loved this sauce all the same. Pour the leftovers over vanilla ice cream or swirl it into oatmeal.
12 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
lemon juice to taste
Heat all ingredients over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and breaking up the fruit, until boiling. Allow to cook for one minute before removing from heat and allowing to cool. Sauce will keep in a container in the refrigerator for a few days…if it even lasts that long.
The inevitable casualties of breakfast. Quite a gore-fest, and so so worth it.