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Four Seasons' Lemon-Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes


This delicious recipe for lemon-ricotta poppy seed pancakes is an interesting twist on breakfast and is courtesy of Joan Nathan's "The New American Cooking."

  • Yield: Makes 16 pancakes

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March 2007


  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Vegetable oil, for griddle
  • Maple syrup, warmed
  • Berries, for garnish


  1. Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until they form firm, glossy peaks.

  2. In a large bowl, beat together ricotta, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Using a rubber spatula, stir flour mixture into ricotta mixture.

  3. Fold a large spoonful of whipped egg whites into ricotta mixture. Continue folding in remaining egg whites.

  4. Coat a griddle or large skillet with oil and heat over high heat until very hot, then reduce heat to medium. Working in batches, place 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle, leaving space, as they will spread. Cook until golden and top begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Gently turn and continue cooking until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm until all the pancakes have cooked. Serve with maple syrup and berries.

Reviews Add a comment

  • courtmastaflex
    15 DEC, 2012
    I've been searching for a good lemon ricotta pancake recipe for a while now and this is absolutely the best. The pancakes are incredibly light and fluffy, just the right amount of lemon tartness and perfectly sweet. These are definitely a new breakfast favorite.
  • naomitalmor
    30 JAN, 2011
    these pancakes are just lovely! (i wanted my batter a little more runny so i substituted 1/2 cup of ricotta for milk... worked great) definitely a new favorite. and yes, martha is right...toast the poppy seeds.
  • bobfennell
    6 AUG, 2010
    These pancakes were easy to make and so good. I am ashamed to admit how many we ate.
  • Poussine
    10 MAY, 2008
    Those pancakes are wonderful ! Light, fluffy. delicate and buttery ... with the distinctive tartiness of ricotta. Beautiful on a Sunday morning !