Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with California Figs

There’s a lot to love about ricotta pancakes. They’re the kind of breakfast for lazy mornings, for brunch, or even during the holidays if you’re not slinging  Overnight French Toast Casserole. By beating the egg whites until they’re stiff peaks, they add height to the pancakes. What we think you’ll really love about this lemon ricotta pancake recipe is the lemon-infused Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs. Each bite is a burst of tangy sweetness. You could always serve these pancakes with butter and maple syrup, but we like them best with confectioner’s sugar dusted on top.
Ricotta pancakes are light, fluffy and perfect for breakfast--this lemon ricotta pancake recipe is great for celebratory breakfasts and brunches.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with California Figs

Course Breakfast
Servings 8 pancakes / 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission California Figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat the lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey over medium heat for 1 minute Stir together. Pour over the figs in a bowl and toss. Steep for 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and ricotta. Stir in the milk and lemon honey-infused figs.

  4. Beat the egg whites until you achieve stiff peaks.

  5. Stir together the figgy yolk mixture into the flour until just combined. Fold in the egg whites until combined.

  6. Set a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once a drip of water sizzles in the skillet, it’s ready. Turn the heat down to medium low. Brush a little butter onto the surface of the skillet (and as needed as you’re cooking the pancakes). Portion out 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet and smooth into a circle. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when a spatula can easily lift a corner of the pancake, bubbles have pricked the surface of the pancake, and the side of the pancake is no longer glossy.

  7. Repeat and cook the remaining batter. Dust the pancakes with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Dig into the Health Benefits of Dried Figs

Health benefits of dried figs are plenty and whatever your lifestyle, California Figs fit.When you eat Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, you help yourself to the health benefits of dried figs. Whether savoring flavorful figs as a snack or in your favorite recipes, dried figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, a wealth of essential minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium, and rich in health-promoting antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.

California Dried Figs, both dark purple Mission and amber-colored Goldens, are an excellent source of dietary fiber and a great way to get your suggested daily intake of dietary fiber. Fiber that occurs naturally in foods like figs may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. A small handful, about 3 to 5 dried figs depending on the variety, provides 5 grams of dietary fiber or 20% of the Daily Value. Dried Fig benefits include being a high source of fiber and containing both soluble and insoluble fiber. Ounce-for-ounce dried figs have more dietary fiber than most other common fruits. Boost your potassium intake by choosing foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure and are found in fruits, such as figs.

Because figs are a whole food source of important nutrients and have no fat, cholesterol or sodium, they help you meet today’s Dietary Guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture. A daily lifestyle focusing on balancing calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.

Why do you eat dried figs for health?

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes

Every year, when Easter rolls around, we’ve got an arsenal of recipes we turn to. The main dish is easily our Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham and usually we pass around deviled eggs as a starter. But, when it comes to dessert, we crave carrot cake around this time of year and this is a carrot cake recipe to hold onto. Instead of serving tall slices of layer cake, we’re opting for mini bundt cakes, full of sweet Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs and honey cream cheese drizzle on top. Spring forward on this festive dessert to share at celebrations and with carrot cake lovers.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle is going to be your favorite carrot cake recipe.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

Course Dessert
Servings 12 mini bundt cakes

Ingredients

Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, about 8 ounces (shredded with large holes of box grater)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 6 ounces 1/3 less fat or regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Grate orange peel to make 1 teaspoon zest. Halve orange and ream to make juice. Combine figs and ¼ cup juice in microwave safe bowl (reserve remaining juice for Drizzle); cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.

  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat 12 mini-bundt molds with baking spray or oil. Dust with flour and tap out excess.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, granulated and brown sugar until blended. Slowly beat in oil, vanilla and orange zest. With spatula, mix in fig mixture and carrots. Gently fold in dry ingredients, just until combined.

  5. Spoon batter into bundt molds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Run a thin knife around edges if needed to help release cakes.

  6. To make Drizzle: beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and enough orange juice to make a frosting of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Recipe and photo by Lorelle Del Matto

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!