All our friends know that every year my better half and I take a jaunt to Palm Springs to stay at The Parker...this wonderful resort that pampers us...it's 3-4 days of R&R that we look fwd to every year.
One thing I also look fwd to on this trip is eating daily at Norma's...The Parker's absolutely fabulous breakfast and lunch cafe. This is the same Norma's as NYC's famous breakfast spot, and the chef even came from NYC to PS when The Parker opened. Breakfast is what they excel in, and their menu is amazing, so hard to choose from...and you pay for it too.
On the menu are what they call Lemon Griddle Cakes. I have had them numerous times and I have never found anything like them anywhere else. The closest I have come is locally to a small breakfast cafe that had a Sunday Special of Rolled Ricotta Blueberry Lemon Pancakes. They were Lemon cakes made thinner like crepes and filled with blueberry and ricotta rolled into the pancakes. They were very yummy, but they weren't the chubby buttermilky infused with Lemon Griddle Cakes from PS.
Famous Norma's Lemon Griddle Cakes
The other thing that makes them special is the big dollop of Devonshire Cream that they serve them with in Palm Springs, something I probably can't replicate at home easily, but we did buy some Devonshire Cream in a little jar recently...soooo.
One of my friends is in NYC today and she went to Norma's this morning for breakkie based on my rave reviews. So when I got up this morning...I thought of her and I decided to try my hand at making them. I had buttermilk in the fridge, a staple now for my cupcaking, and I knew I had one or two Meyers from a few weeks ago. I adore Meyer Lemons...I love lemon anything but the Meyers just have that extra somethin' somethin' that makes cooked or baked anything taste that much more rich.
I also had these new Stack and Fill Pancake Molds from Williams Sonoma (1/2 off baby!) so I wanted to try those out too. There are not many lemon pancake recipes out on the blogosphere...I thought I might be stuck using the buttermilk recipe from the back of the pancake molds box.
However, something from our last visit stuck with me ... I thought there MIGHT be ricotta in the Palm Spring griddle cakes..as well as buttermilk. So I searched on lemon ricotta pancakes and found a recipe to use as a base on My Husband Cooks. I adapted it a fair amount..to use buttermilk, about 1/3 of the amount of ricotta, less sugar and more vanilla and also made it smaller since it was just us two. The photo on the site looked close to the puffy consistency of the ones in PS so I was hopeful.
Mara's Lemon Griddle Cakes
Adapted from recipe on My Husband Cooks
1 meyer lemon, juice and zest
1 large egg
1/3c ricotta cheese
1/8c melted unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tblsp water
3/4c all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Whisk wet ingredients in one bowl and let rest. Whisk dry flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Mix dry into wet, do not overmix, batter can still be lumpy. Let rest for 5 minutes. If batter thickens too much, add a bit more buttermilk. My batter puffed up in a crazy way while sitting there for 5 minutes, I almost didn't want to disturb it!
Puffy After Resting
Heat griddle, get pancake molds ready if using. Brush pan with butter and molds if not non-stick. When griddle is hot enough (flick a bit of water on it, it should sizzle), ladle batter in.
Flip when ready...try to only flip once to not get crazy contrasting cooking marks. When done, brush with melted butter and top with fresh blueberry, or lemon slices, or a dollop of Devonshire Cream..Palm Springs style.
Ours came out pretty fluffy, but the thickness of the pancakes meant they took a while to cook and it made the outsides very brown...I like 'visually well-done' pancakes so I didn't care, but some people may not care for it.
Next time, I will add water to the batter, because I want a slightly thinner batter without having to add more buttermilk. That will also help take care of the thick pancakes taking so long, and the outsides browning too much...FYI..the recipe above is adapted my way and I added the water in already but you can add more to get it to the consistency you want.
End result is yummy in our bellies. The recipe made 6 pancakes. These things don't even need syrup or jam...I ate one of mine entirely plain. My better half said they were wonderful. By the way, while you are finishing making the pancakes, also go get your workout clothes ready for the 10k you'll want to feel like running after consuming these! Or you can just move to the couch like I did.