Everyone loves blueberry pancakes, right? At first bite, these pancakes will satisfy any blueberry pancake craving. But, then you hit a little pocket of warm, creamy ricotta cheese with a hint of honey and orange, and you know that these are not your ordinary blueberry pancakes!
For the past few days, I have been dreaming of ricotta cheese, orange zest, and blueberries. We’ve been pretty busy, so the idea had time to marinate in my brain for a while before I got around to acting on it. The idea started out with cheese blintzes, which I adore. They sounded like a lot of work, though (yes, that was lazy of me… I realize). I contemplated some scones, but I was afraid that the ricotta would get lost in the dough and wouldn’t satisfy my ricotta craving. Finally, it occurred to me that I had some of my whole wheat pancake mix left over, and I could use it to make ricotta filled pancakes with a blueberry sauce. The perfect pick-me-up for Monday morning!
I used frozen blueberries for my sauce, but you could certainly use fresh. Around here, we still have a while until there are fresh, local blueberries, and I’m not about to pay $5 for a half-pint of fresh berries when I can pay $2-3 for a whole pound of frozen. Plus, I find that the frozen blueberries work perfectly well in the sauce… Possibly even better than fresh, and you don’t even need to thaw them!
Ricotta Filled Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
For the Sauce:
- 16 ounces frozen blueberries
- 1 orange – 1/2 zest and juice
(reserve the other half of the zest for the ricotta filling)
- 2 tablespoons honey
For the Ricotta Filling:
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
(Jennifer Perillo’s homemade ricotta would be amazing, but I just had some storebought on hand)
- 1/2 orange zest
(leftover from the sauce, above)
- 1 tablespoon honey
For the Pancakes:
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pancake mix
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 scant cup milk
To make the sauce, combine the blueberries, orange zest, orange juice, and honey in a skillet or sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the blueberries have thawed completely and the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer while preparing the pancakes, until the sauce thickens and gets glossy.
Preheat a filled pancake (or aebleskiver) pan over medium heat, and spray lightly with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the ricotta filling until smooth. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the pancake mix, oil, egg, vanilla, and milk, stirring just until all of the mix is incorporated.
Spoon some of the pancake batter into each well of the pancake pan. Top with about a teaspoon (or a little more) of the ricotta mixture. Top the ricotta mixture with some more pancake batter. Cook for a few minutes, and then use skewers to turn the filled pancakes, and cook for an additional minute or two.
Serve warm topped with warm blueberry sauce. Enjoy!