Blueberry Orange Ricotta Pancake Skillets!

Breakfast is one of the best times of day at Oak Hill on Love Lane! It is so much fun for us to see guests making new friends around the table and sharing stories about their adventures here in Western North Carolina and about their lives back at home.

So many friendships are started at that table, it is so heartwarming.  Most mornings, laughter resonates through the house and it is amazing to think that just a day before these people had never met.  It is truly one of the joys of being an innkeeper and is so satisfying to see how good food and a welcoming table can bring perfect strangers together.  So many guests comment that the fellowship at the Oak Hill breakfast table is one their favorite things and one of the reasons they return again and again. Of course, they love the food, the mountain views, and the beds too!

As summer approaches we like to start using some of our favorite recipes that incorporate the colorful refreshing fruit available! One recipe that guests love and we love making is Blueberry Orange Ricotta Pancakes baked in our mini cast iron skillets.  They are so light and fluffy!  The combination of the orange flavors with fresh blueberries is perfect for Summer weekend morning breakfasts. We like to top them with sliced navel oranges and Johnsonville Maple Syrup Sausage Links.  What really makes the dish though, is the orange juice and Tuaca infused real Vermont Maple Syrup.  As soon as the skillets come out of the oven, we pour the syrup mixture around the crispy edges to let it soak in before serving. If you don’t have mini cast iron skillets, the recipe below can also be used for traditional pancakes on the griddle.  They will be thick and puffy so make sure you let them cook through!  We hope you enjoy making this tasty recipe for your family this summer!

Blueberry Orange Ricotta Skillet Pancakes

Makes 8 to 10 skillets

2 Cups Whole Milk Ricotta
1/2 cup Sugar
6 eggs separated
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1 1/2 cups Half and Half
2 teaspoons orange extract or Tuaca Citrus Liqueur
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups flour
1/2 teas salt – separated
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Stick of butter
Fresh Blueberries and Sliced Navel Oranges

Cream together Ricotta, 6 egg yolks, and sugar. (Keep egg whites in a separate bowl and reserve for adding later.) Combine Half and half, OJ, orange extract, and oil in a separate container.  Add dry ingredients, including 1/4 teas salt, in a separate bowl as well.  Alternately add liquid and dry ingredients to Ricotta mixture. Refrigerate batter overnight. In the morning, whip egg whites and remaining 1/4 teas. Salt until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. The batter will be very lite and fluffy. Heat mini cast iron skillets in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Pull out hot skillets and brush with a pat of butter in each and sprinkle with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Pour in about 3/4 to 1 cup batter over the butter and brown sugar then top with fresh blueberries. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just barely browning on top. Squirt orange syrup around edges and as soon as they come out of the oven. Top with two sausage patties or links and an orange slice. Serve with extra orange infused syrup.  (This batter will also work as regular pancake batter)

Orange Syrup

1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Tuaca citrus liquer

Whisk together and heat in microwave until warm.