Briar-Patch Blackberry Sauce with Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Narrative by Liz & Mel
Recipes by JoAnn

One of the things that drew Eric to Sookie was that underneath her sweet, perky exterior is a tart little firecracker. This breakfast begins with an unexpectedly tart twist on classic pancakes, then tops them with rich, sweet liquid berries.

Eric: “Well, aren’t you sweet?” Sookie: “Not really.”
True Blood episode 1.04 “Escape From Dragon House

PREP TIME: 20 Minutes

Ingredients for the blackberry sauce:
12 oz. blackberries, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cold water

Ingredients for the pancakes:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk
3 large eggs, separated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar

To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and keep warm if desired. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

To make the pancakes, combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until incorporated. In another clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat, adding the sugar gradually, until medium-soft peaks form.

Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture with a spatula until completely incorporated. Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until the mixture is smooth and light.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Grease as needed. Ladle a scant 1/2 cup of batter onto the cooking surface for each pancake. Allow to cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface. Use a large spatula to carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until light golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter. If desired, keep finished pancakes warm in a 200˚F oven until all the batter is cooked. Serve warm with fresh blackberry sauce. Yield: about 12 pancakes