Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

I created this updated version of classic kaese latkes. In deference to the heroine Judith, who saved the Jews from annihilation by feeding salty cheese and wine to General Holofernes, getting him drunk enough so she could behead him and scare off his troops. They're a delicious treat all year long, not just for Hanukkah, and because of the cheese, they're great for Shavuot, too.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk ricotta
2 eggs
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Zest of 1/2 medium lemon, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Unsalted butter for frying
  1. Place the 1 tablespoon of butter in a 11/2-quart glass bowl and microwave on high for 40 seconds or until the butter is melted.
  2. Add the ricotta and eggs and mix well with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
  3. Add the brown sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and the two flours and stir well.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and rub the end of a stick of butter all over the surface of the pan to coat it well.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the griddle and cook for 3 minutes or until the underside of the pancake is golden brown and the top is slightly dry.
  6. Gently flip the pancakes over (it might be easier to use 2 small spatulas to do this), and cook for another 2 minutes until the edges are barely crisp and both sides are golden brown.
  7. Serve drizzled with additional melted butter, honey, or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Additional Notes
  • These pancakes are as light as air and delicate, so turning is best achieved using two spatulas, one in each hand, to evenly brown both sides. 
  • Whole-wheat flour contains more gluten than white flour, so less is needed in delicate foods to bind ingredients together. 
  • A rasp-type grater is perfect for creating fine shards of lemon zest that will flavor the batter evenly without any bitter white pith from the inner peel.