lemon ricotta ‘pan-crepes’


It may sound an odd confession, coming from a lover of all things sweet at breakfast-time, but amidst all my plates of toast with jams, various incarnations of fruit and oatmeal, egg-dishes, muffins, and scones, pancakes have never been a dish of preference. Perhaps the idea of cleaning more than one bowl after eating, or having an excess of stacked flapjacks to do away with (meaning eventually eating them all myself…) were the culprits of reasoning behind my long avoidance of such breakfast fare. But the sense of celebration in the air as the entire community waited excitedly for the bloom of the cherry blossom, as well as a sense of festivity for the Easter holiday, were so pervading and the Saturday sunshine so fine (never mind that is was 43 degrees), I declared a special occasion in the kitchen and made some dazzlingly decadent lemon-ricotta pancakes.

Well, lemon-ricotta almost pancakes…More like full-bodied crepes, or a very skinny pancakes. Due to the fact that I had to clear out the entire refrigerator in preparation for the delivery of a new one (along with the new oven!!) on Saturday prompted me to do some creative thinking and cooking on my feet that day. And lemon-ricotta pancakes seemed the perfect way to use up a meager half of an already-zested lemon, as well as the last of the homemade ricotta I made earlier in the week (recipe below), as part of my no-oven baking fix. Although I intended to follow the recipe of my inspiration for all things cooking, Smitten Kitchen, I had only one of the four called-for eggs, so I halved the recipe and decided to make a thinner batter with milk instead.
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april fools and flowers

Sunday afternoon: Earl Grey tea, rich with a splash of milk, a spoonful of sugar, and cream–my most luxurious cuppa yet! 

April Fool’s! 

Despite the honest resemblance, this deceptive cup is actually a creamy, tea-infused milk jelly. It might seem slightly off-putting, I know, to read “milk tea” and “jelly” in the same sentence, let alone envision them as cohorts in the company of dessert. But despite any reservations I may have had previously about adding gelatin to such a familiar thing as brewed tea, it was only for lack of acquaintance with such a confection, because the little cup I had for an afternoon pick-me-up completely exceeded my expectations and tickled my senses in a most pleasant, beguiling way. It certainly looked and smelled like a cup of sweet milk tea, yet when I dipped my spoon in, the surface broke with surprising resistance, like scooping sorbet. It was like having the most intensely flavorful tea pudding–I could taste the sweet bergamot, actually bite into the richness of the milk and cream. 

I first came across such a dessert in the repetoire of Japanese sweets, where jellies are often served with fresh fruit, sweet rice dumplings, or even scoops of ice cream. On its own, I don’t know that gelatin will ever have a fighting chance as a stand-alone treat for me, but in its incarnation as milk jelly, it allowed me the unique pleasure of enjoying a fragrant tea with the added feeling of indulgence any cold-cream treat usually invokes (and with hardly any pangs of conscience!).  Continue reading