Recipe: Homemade Ricotta & Ricotta Pancakes

Deirdre Armstrong

Deirdre Armstrong › Deirdre Armstrong and her husband Phil own Harvest Thyme Herbs, a 6 acre specialty produce farm in ...


Ricotta pancakes are fluffy, tender and moist…and they’re even better when made with some fresh, homemade ricotta cheese!

Deirdre Armstrong shares her recipes for ricotta pancakes and ricotta cheese, adapted from the book Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll (Storey Publishing, 2002).

Both of the recipes are easy to make and are sure to become staples in your kitchen once you’ve mastered them. Deirdre says making your own ricotta cheese is:

…simple enough for a child to do, with supervision, using ingredients found in any household: vinegar and salt. The byproduct of cheesemaking is the nutritious liquid whey, and I’m always keen to find a use for that as well.

These fluffy, tender pancakes use both ricotta and its whey, (my adaptation), and are Phil’s favorite. With flour from Wades Mill, eggs from Mountain Glen Farm and a drizzle of smoky hickory syrup from Wildwoods Hickory Syrup, they are a locavore’s breakfast dream!


For the Ricotta

2 quarts whole milk (NOT ultra- pasteurized)
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Pancakes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (we use local stone-ground flour from Wades Mill )
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
2 cups milk (called for in recipe) or whey (I used whey)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) homemade ricotta


For the Ricotta

In a medium pot, warm the milk over moderately high heat, stirring, until the surface becomes foamy and steamy and an instant- read thermometer inserted in the milk registers 185 F; do not let milk boil. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the vinegar and stir gently for 30 seconds; the milk should curdle almost immediately. Add the salt and stir for 30 seconds longer. Cover the pot with a clean towel and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Line a large colander with several layers of cheesecloth, allowing several inches of overhang. Set the colander in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the curds to the colander. Carefully gather the corners of the cheesecloth and close with a rubber band. Let the ricotta drain for 30 minutes, gently pressing the cheesecloth to drain off the whey. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and use at once, or cover and refrigerate. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

For the Pancakes

Sift together dry ingredients.

In a medium sized bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.

In a large bowl beat together the egg yolks, whey and ricotta until well blended and smooth. Add the flour mixture and combine gently with a large spoon.

Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula.

Heat a large nonstick flat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or vegetable oil.

Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle and cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles form on the surface, then flip pancakes with a large spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes or so, until golden brown.

Keep pancakes warm in a 200F oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes.

Makes 16-20 pancakes, depending on their size.

Deirdre encourages you to refrigerate the whey, from the cheesemaking process, and “use it in any baking recipe that calls for milk.” Great tip!

These pancakes are definitely getting rolled into our Sunday brunch rotation! And wouldn’t that ricotta be amazing with just a little sea salt and good-quality olive oil drizzled on top, maybe served with some fresh vegetables or slices of freshly baked bread?

These recipes originally appeared on Harvest Thyme Herbs Farm blog. They are re-posted here with permission from the author. 

Have you made your own ricotta cheese before? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

Photo Credit: Deirdre Armstrong

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