Serves a Crowd

Ricotta Pancakes with Apple-Calvados Syrup

March 16, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 8 medium pancakes
Author Notes

These pancakes are extraordinarily moist. Topped with apples poached in maple syrup and Calvados they're pure indulgence. - Viviane Bauquet Farre —Viviane Bauquet Farre

Test Kitchen Notes

These pancakes are lifted by ricotta and smell deliciously of lemon and vanilla. They're not especially sweet on their own -- for that you have maple syrup enhanced with apples, walnuts and Calvados (a great idea if there ever was one). Notes: If you want some bite left in your apples, don't simmer them too feverishly or do so for less than 15 minutes. And the syrup recipe could be halved and you'd still have plenty, but any extra is can be spooned over yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream -- or more pancakes! —Kristen Miglore

What You'll Need
  • For the syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups grade A or B maple syrup
  • 1 cup spring water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 pounds Braeburn, Fuji or other firm-flesh apples (about 3 large) – peeled, cored and cut in 1/2" slices
  • 1/4 cup Calvados (Applejack or brandy are good substitute)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts – toasted and broken in small pieces
  • For the pancakes
  • 1 1/2 cups organic, unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use microplane grater)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
  • melted unsalted butter to brush the pan (about 1 tablespoon)
  • mint leaves as garnish
  1. Heat the maple syrup, water and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the apple slices, reduce heat to medium-high and fast simmer for 15 minutes until apples are tender and liquid has reduced by a third. Add the Calvados and continue to fast simmer for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and add the walnut pieces. Mix well and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the milk, ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest and melted butter and whisk until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and whisk until just incorporated. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
  4. Heat a 7" non-stick frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Brush pan with a little melted butter and lower to medium to medium-high heat. Using about 1/2 cup of the batter for each pancake, pour the batter into the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tops of pancake have a few bubbles, edges look dry and bottom is golden. Flip the pancake and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until bottom is golden and pancake is cooked through. As the pan gets hotter, you may have to reduce the heat further so the pancakes cook evenly without burning. Brush the pan with a little more butter before cooking the next pancake.
  5. Place 2 pancakes in the center of each plate. Top with a few apple slices and drizzle with the syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.
  6. Cook’s note: To toast the nuts: preheat oven to 350° F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 7 minutes until golden. Cool to room temperature before using in the recipe.
  7. © 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre — Food & Style NY LLC -

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Ausra
  • Viviane Bauquet Farre
    Viviane Bauquet Farre
  • Cat

13 Reviews

Cat January 12, 2014
Pancakes worked wonderfully. My family found the syrup far too sweet, and it was not as flavorful as I had anticipated.
AntoniaJames November 27, 2011
Made the pancakes only according to the recipe, served with warm maple syrup. Sensational!! Family loved them, so this recipe is a keeper, to be sure. Thank you for posting it! ;o)
Viviane B. November 28, 2011
Antonia, Thank you for your comment. I am SO thrilled your family enjoyed the pancakes - just made my day! Happy holidays.
AntoniaJames November 28, 2011
We had quite a few left over, as we made rather small pancakes. My son happily took 7 with him on his red-eye flight back East, declaring as I packed them up for him, "These are the best." Looking forward to making them again, time with the apples, when both boys return for the semester breaks next month. ;o)
Ausra April 4, 2011
Made these on Sunday - EXCELLENT!!! very very good recipe! they were great even this morning; I used buttermilk instead of milk and served them with some sauteed apples and regular maple syrup; but I'm very curious about the Apple-Calvados syrup; maybe I'll try that next Sunday; Wonderful recipe!!
Viviane B. April 6, 2011
Thank you so much for your comment... I am delighted you enjoyed the recipe. I must say that these days I yearn for summer so that I can make those pancakes with poached apricots or peaches!
AntoniaJames April 6, 2011
Hmmm. You've just provided me with the perfect "solution" for some of those jars of brandied peaches I put up last summer that have yet to be eaten. I'll be going the buttermilk route, and reducing the brandied syrup. Mr T loves pancakes. He's going to be so happy. Stay tuned . . . . . ;o)
Viviane B. April 6, 2011
Antonia... Now that's totally sinful! You are a woman after my own heart! Staying tuned for sure :)
AntoniaJames April 6, 2011
VBF, I am forever indebted to you for providing an excellent new reason for me to make my own fresh ricotta more often. (I use the whey in baking, too, so it's helpful for that reason as well.) Now, if I could just get out of the office and into the kitchen . . . . . . but I'm my own boss, so I can't complain too much. So looking forward to making these. I think we'll go totally Southern on these, for my Tarheel husband, and use pecans instead of walnuts. ;o)
AntoniaJames March 25, 2011
These are the most gorgeously grown-up pancakes I've ever seen. I am going to play with the flours a bit . . . Lately, I've been utterly incapable of making anything with dough or a batter without also including some barley flour and a touch of toasted wheat germ. These are on the menu for brunch on Sunday . . . simply perfect. Stay tuned . . . . . ;o) P.S. I really like Step #7.
Viviane B. March 25, 2011
Oh Antonia, you are such a delight. I had a marvelous time browsing through your profile and recipes. I love that you are such a foodie! Let me know how the barley flour works with the pancakes. I would think marvelously. I love oat flour too. Last but not least, I am thrilled you like #7! Enjoy your weekend, cooking, eating and all the rest of it :)
AntoniaJames March 24, 2011
Love, love, LOVE these. What a great looking recipe. I'm having trouble getting good apples these days, so I plan to try this using some of the super chunky, not-sweet roasted applesauce I made last fall. The pancake recipe seems like an excellent one to have on hand, to use with other toppings as well. Brava!! ;o)
Viviane B. March 25, 2011
Antonia! Thank you so, so much for your comment - it put a big, fat smile on my face. These ricotta pancakes are so moist and light, they will be divine with your chunky apple sauce. I sometime make them with Bartlett or Anjou pears, done the same way I do the apples. I substitue pear cognac or pear grapa, but brandy works fine. Enjoy and do let me know how they turn out.... PS: I'll be making them this weekend with homemade ricotta. Fortunately I can still find some crisp, flavorful local apples.