Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Smashed Blackberries

marionberry pancakes 3
marionberry pancakes 1

Despite my gloomy weekend forecast, it turned out to be a pretty fantastic Saturday, all sunny and blue-skied, and filled with very regular Saturday things – an early morning toy sale, a kids’ soccer tournament, backyard gardening, a birthday party, a slumber party… and now the morning after the slumber party, when pancakes are clearly in order.

I personally use sleepovers (and Sundays-I’m not picky) as an excuse to make things like these smashed blackberry pancakes, which I’ve had in mind since becoming hopelessly hooked on Portlandia (totally old news, I realize, but recently available on Netflix in Canada so new to us) – one episode of which is dedicated to the pursuit of a stack of Marionberry pancakes. (Marionberries are just a variety of blackberry native to Oregon.) And so this week when I couldn’t sleep due to too much coffee or too much worry or just those nitpicky voices that sneak up and attack you when your defenses are down, I focused my mind on this episode and in particular, the stack of Marionberry pancakes they were (spoiler alert!) rewarded with at the end. On Friday I gave in, went to the store and dropped $4 on a half pint of blackberries just so I could get them out of my head and into my stomach.

marionberry Collage

Although on the show -being a series of satirical comedy shorts based in Portland- the pancakes themselves were multigrain and vegan (natch), I figured smashed blackberries (smashed because they appear as a sort of chunky sauce on the show, and that was the visual that lived in my head all week) would go well with lemon-ricotta pancakes, don’t you think? And conveniently I had a tub of ricotta in the fridge left over from an unmade lasagna.

marionberry pancakes 2- text

Since Bobby Flay had a guest appearance on this particular episode, helping them spend 241 days developing the perfect pancake formula, I used his lemon-ricotta pancake recipe as a stepping stone, then smashed blackberries with sugar to blop overtop. You can do this in a bowl – crush fresh blackberries with sugar or maple syrup using a fork and bowl, or do it in a small saucepan and warm it as you go, melting the sugar and making a warm, chunky sauce to pour over your (presumably also warm) pancakes.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Smashed Blackberries


June 2, 2013

  • Makes: Makes enough for 4-6.


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

pinch ground nutmeg (optional)

pinch salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

grated zest and juice of a lemon (or just half of one)

canola oil and butter

1/2-1 pint fresh blackberries, raspberries or Marionberries

1/4 cup sugar or maple syrup (or to taste - optional)


1In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.

2Preheat a heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) or griddle and brush with oil and/or butter. Turn it down to medium-low and ladle on some batter (about 1/3 cup, depending how big you want them). Cook until golden on the bottom and bubbly on the top, with some bubbles breaking through; flip with a thin spatula and cook until golden on the other side. Keep them warm in a 250F oven if you like.

3Meanwhile, roughly mash the berries with the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. As soon as the sugar dissolves, it's ready to serve. If you want it runnier, add pure maple syrup for a pourable blackberry sauce.


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10 comments on “Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Smashed Blackberries

  1. Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony
    June 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

    This looks amazing! Good to know what marionberries are, too. Bobby Flay has that brunch show where he always makes really appetizing food.

  2. Lori
    June 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I just watched that a couple nights ago, and didn’t see Bobby Flay. Was he in disguise? I can’t believe I missed him.
    Maybe I was too focused on Tim Robbins…..

  3. Lori
    June 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Ok, just googled it and mystery solved, didn’t see the long version, just the regular show. What a relief, I thought I was losing it.

    • Julie
      June 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Lori – Sorry for the slow reply! I’ve been trying to stay off my computer for the weekend! Yes, there’s a longer version (a little annoying as you have to watch the short version all over again) – I fell asleep toward the end of the Bobby Flay part!

  4. Rana
    June 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I have recently moved to an area of BC where blackberries grow wild and crazy! I have a good neighbour who picked oodles of blackberries last Fall and has been passing them off to me – bags and containers at a time. I’ve made crisps and grunts and smoothies and, of course, in a bowl with cream and sugar; now to make smashed blackberries for our waffles in the morning. THanks for yet another idea to use and enjoy our abundance of blackberries.

    • Julie
      June 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Rana – I miss living in Vancouver, where we could go blackberry picking in late summer and bring home buckets of them (and plenty of scratches from those vines!) I used to try to drive them home to Calgary, but they just wouldn’t last…

  5. bellini
    June 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Blackberries are my favourite and I am sure the ones I have frozen in the freezer would be a perfect foile for these pancakes.

  6. Laura
    July 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Can I please come to breakfast? 😀

  7. Melanie
    August 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I just ordered a big case of blueberries from the $40 box guy… I might be up for sharing 😉

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