Okay “terrifying” might be a tad bit of an exaggeration, but beating egg whites to a “soft peak” is scary. What in the hell are “soft peaks?!”
There are certain jobs in the kitchen that I hate and of course push onto my lovely husband, Paul (who accepts said jobs happily because he likes helping which makes me happy so really it’s a win-win situation). Sorry, I’m babbling.
Anyway, these jobs… I hate greasing any pan, plucking thyme leaves off of their stems, and beating egg whites just to name a few. Now I didn’t let Paul take over that last task namely because if anyone is gonna mess this up, it should be me.
In truth, I know what soft peaks are and learned a long time ago from my rock-star baker mother that you should add a pinch of cream of tartar to the whites to help them form their peaks. But the anticipation of creating these peaks and ensuring that they are not too soft and not overdone is enough to rattle your confidence.
In the end, these pancakes were amazing! Perfect for a brunch. The recipe is slightly high maintenance because of all of the zesting, peak forming, stem removing (darn organic blueberries), etc. But with all of that said, they are well worth the effort. Pretty and super flavorful, your audience (even if it’s a party of one) will be impressed.
Lemon Blueberry Sheet Pancakes (recipe care of sunset.com)
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and divided, plus more for pan), 3 cups blueberries (divided), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided), 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 4 large eggs (separated), 1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, 1 cup whole milk, powdered sugar and maple syrup (for serving)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a sheet pan (a 12- by 17-in. rimmed baking sheet) with butter or cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Combine 2 cups blueberries, the lemon juice, and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Let sit 15 minutes or so. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in another medium bowl. In a third medium bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, ricotta, remaining 6 tbsp. granulated sugar, 6 tbsp. melted butter, the lemon zest, and milk to blend. Gradually add dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Fold in egg whites and blueberry-sugar mixture. Spread in prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake until center is set and springs back when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove pancake from oven and preheat broiler to high with a rack 5 in. from heat. Brush last two tablespoons melted butter over the top of the pancake and broil until golden brown. Cut pancake into 12 squares and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with the remaining 1 cup blueberries and maple syrup.