I once stayed at a bed and breakfast with my mom while she was traveling for work, probably my junior year of high school... so 6 years ago? I remember being amazed at the concept of a B&B- this beautiful mansion used to be someone's home? They give you gourmet breakfasts for free?! And you can have tea in the afternoon? It sounded like a fairy tale to me! Don't ask me how, but I can still remember what they served for breakfast the first morning: steel cut oats, bread pudding, and raspberry ricotta pancakes. And they were amazing pancakes. So light and fluffy, but so flavorful and rich! I even remember sneaking a pancake (ok... it might have been two or three) out the door with us when we left for the day! Since then, I've always wanted to try making raspberry ricotta pancakes. I had some ricotta left over from another recipe, so I figured I'd finally give it a try! Plus, they make for a perfect Valentine's Day post- what better way to start the day with your partner than with yummy pancakes?! I was going to just plop some raspberries in the batter like usual, but then I realized how much greater it would be if the raspberry flavor permeated the entire pancake. So I ended up smashing the berries and mixing them into the batter! I think I prefer it this way because I'm also a fan of consistent textures in things like this, but if you'd rather leave the berries whole, go right ahead!

raspberry ricotta pancakes

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10-15 raspberries
Butter or oil to coat the pan

Combine the ricotta, buttermilk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture, stirring only until just combined. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter. Smash the raspberries in a small bowl, then swirl into the pancake batter. Heat a wide pan over medium heat. Melt a little butter (or you can use oil) to coat the pan before pouring batter from a 1/3 cup measure onto the pan. Let the pancakes cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown before flipping and cooking for another 2 minutes. The pancakes should puff very nicely upon flipping- just watch! I find it super thrilling:) Serve immediately with maple syrup or you can keep the pancakes warm by turning the oven to 250 degrees for three minutes, turning it off, and placing the pancakes in the warm oven on a cookie sheet until you're ready to serve.

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