Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

For Mother’s Day, I wanted to create a recipe that brought back some of the best memories that my mom and I share. I’m an only child, so I feel like I have an incredibly special relationship with my mom. She is the most loving, giving and selfless woman that I know. She loves me even when my stubborn and independent personality gets the best of me, and she makes me feel cared for in a way that only a mom can. She has taught me the value in writing hand-written thank you notes, and sending gifts or flowers to friends and family “just because.”

Growing up, some of the best memories I have with my mom are those spent during the spring and summer picking strawberries and blueberries in New Hampshire. My love for fresh fruit and veggies definitely has roots in some of these childhood memories. So although it’s not quite blueberry season yet, this recipe reflects some very fond memories of filling buckets (and stuffing our faces) with blueberries, hearing that distinct “kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk” as the blueberries hit the bottom of the bucket (Blueberries for Sal, anyone?). After spending the afternoon picking blueberries, mom and I would drive home and spend the next few mornings creating breakfast treats filled to the brim with blueberries…muffins, coffee cake, pancakes, you name it. These ricotta blueberry pancakes are inspired by those memories…and are a little more fancy and dressed up than the Bisquick pancakes I used to think were the cat’s meow.

Unfortunately, mom, we’re now separated by a few hundred miles of highway, so I can’t make these yummy pancakes for you on Mother’s Day. Hopefully this will suffice as the next best thing (and Dad, you now know the recipe so perhaps you can pick up my slack!).

Love you to the moon and back mom…Happy Mother’s Day!

Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 6 pancakes

For the Pancakes:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the ricotta cheese to the pan. Stir until the cheese forms a smooth mixture, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg at high speed until slightly frothy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and the cheese mixture and whisk at medium speed until combined. Add the milk and whisk for one more minute, then switch to the paddle attachment and add the dry ingredients at low speed, stirring until just combined. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes while you heat a greased griddle and preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of batter onto the surface of the griddle, spreading it out in a circle shape with the back of a spoon as soon as it hits the surface. Allow to cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface, then flip and cook until golden. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the remaining pancakes.

For the whipped cream:
Pour whipped cream into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use an electric mixer). Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean pod over the bowl and add the sugar. Beat all ingredients together until the cream is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the whipped cream over the stack of pancakes and top with maple syrup.

Happy Mother’s Day!

For the Pancakes:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 c ricotta cheese (strained if needed)
1 c flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c milk
1/2 pint fresh blueberries or 1 c frozen blueberries
Pure maple syrup (for serving)

For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
1 c whipping cream
1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise
2 tbsp granulated sugar