Cast Iron

Puffy and Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes with Orange and Fig

March 30, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

These pancakes, adapted from Tim Byres of Smoke Restaurant in Dallas are so tall they'll make ordinary pancakes look like they're standing on their tippy toes. They're so pillowy that I not only dream of them but on them. They're so crispy that you'll actually use that knife on your table. The entire top and bottom of these pancakes is what the edges of the standard sort might look like—if you're lucky (and it's your birthday, and you're having a good hair day). —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, plus more for the griddle
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full-fat ricotta
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 4 tablespoons fig jam
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried figs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour through sugar).
  3. Gradually stir in the butter until you have a mixture with pebble-sized clumps.
  4. Add the buttermilk, mix to combine, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing a little after each addition.
  5. Gently fold the ricotta, orange zest, and fig jam into the batter.
  6. Set a large, oven-safe griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When it's hot enough that a drop of water flicked onto the surface sizzles, add enough butter to grease the bottom of the pan.
  7. Thoroughly grease the insides of 4 egg rings (or however many fit on the griddle) and place them on the hot pan. Place the rings on the pan for a minute or so in order to get them very hot. Fill the rings halfway (any higher and the pancakes might explode!) with batter, sprinkling a few dried fig pieces over top of each.
  8. Transfer the hot skillet from the stove to the oven and bake the pancakes for 5 to 7 minutes so that the sides set and the top is bubbling. Be patient: You want the sides of the batter to become firm like cake so that the top will not ooze over the sides when you remove the ring. Once you think you've reached that stage, remove the pan from the oven and return it to the stove over medium heat. Working with one pancake at a time, remove each egg ring and flip the pancake. Work very carefully. Cook for 3 to 4 more minutes on the other side.
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter and the rest of the fig pieces, keeping the finished pancakes warm in a low temperature oven.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sugartoast
  • Casey Emma Collins
    Casey Emma Collins
  • GorillaGrilla
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel

15 Reviews

Amy April 14, 2022
can I make without rings? batter flavor looks good and I don't have/don't want to buy/mess with rings :)
Sugartoast January 8, 2021
Usually a big fan of the genius recipes but this required too many pieces of equipment + back & forth between oven and stove to produce some ok pancakes. The photo looks so enticing and I made a good effort for moderate results ....
Casey E. December 21, 2017
I made these and they were good but I have some questions - we got talk cake/dessert rings I think they’re 2-3”, and I’m wondering if it’s too tall, because the pancake didn’t taste light and fluffy on the inside, but more heavy and cakey. Is this how they’re supposed to taste? Or do you think a shallower ring would work better?
Nicole T. July 3, 2017
Serve with maple syrup?
Viola B. October 6, 2016
Hello Sarah, do you think these might work with less flour, the 2 cups of it to 1/2 cup of ricotta seems high.
Sarah J. November 20, 2016
Hi there Viola! I haven't experimented with less flour, so I can't be sure. Let me know what you find out!
GorillaGrilla October 6, 2016
Thats brilliant
D.J. May 7, 2016
Sarah: this sounds delicious but am curious about making this for a crowd. Do you think if I preheated a sheet pan in the oven, I could make this with a dozen rings?
Fay W. April 20, 2016
Thinking I could use English muffin rings, no handles so should be easy to flip.
Diana L. June 11, 2015
Very intriguing
Lenka J. June 7, 2015
How about using clean cans from tuna fish for rings?
LeBec F. June 7, 2015
brilliant idea lenka, imo. Do a sample and make sure to PAM it well.
LeBec F. May 11, 2015
sarah, I am very intrigued by this; good work!
The mechanics seem awkward though. So here are a few questions:
--if one uses ample non-stick spray on the insides of the rings, shouldn't one be able to lift the 1/2 cooked pancake ring with a spatula ,and flip it over to cook the other side of the pancake- which should release and slide down to make contact with the pan?( It might need some nudging.)
-- and what about baking the pancakes halfway in a muffin tin and then flipping over the tin and using a spatula to transfer the pancakes (sans muffin tin) onto the pan to finish cooking? Might that work?
Thx for the inspiration!-love the fig and orange pairing.
Sarah J. May 11, 2015
You could flip the pancake ring, I think, but mine have handles (I think most do), so it actually only lies flat against the griddle on one side. The goal is to have the sides of the pancakes sturdy enough that you can remove the pancake ring without the top of the pancake slumping over. I think the muffin tin idea is so smart! Let me know if it works! Would make the process a whole lot simpler!
AngelinaLaRue April 27, 2015
I must try these!