Whipped Cream Cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar, more to taste
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8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, whip together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until firm peaks are formed, three to four minutes. Move to a separate bowl.
2. In the mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the sour cream and lemon zest and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally until completely incorporated and smooth.
3. Fold the whipped cream mixture in with the whipped cream cheese, one half at a time, careful not to overmix. This makes about 1½ cups whipped cream cheese. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
1½ cups sugar
1¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 eggs, divided
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest from 2 lemons
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, melted
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, flour and baking powder.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest. With the mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients, beating until well-combined. Continue beating, drizzling in the melted butter until well combined. Move the mixture to a separate bowl.
4. In the mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, one half at a time. This makes about eight cups of batter.
5. Spray a small, preferably 6-inch, oven-safe nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Pour about 1 cup of the batter into the skillet and bake until the pancake puffs and is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. To make more than 1 pancake at a time, use multiple pans (baking multiple pancakes at once will increase the baking time slightly).
6. The pancakes are delicate. Slide a spatula along the outer edge of each to remove from the pan. Serve immediately, with whipped cream cheese on the side. Repeat as needed until all eight pancakes are baked.
Adapted by the Los Angeles Times from the Icebox Cafe in Miami Beach, Fla.