Lemon Ricotta Waffles with a sweet swirl of Blueberry Preserves will be your new favorite way to enjoy breakfast! The ricotta cheese helps make these the fluffiest waffles ever, the lemon juice brings the zing, and the blueberry swirl is the perfect sweet touch.
Team Waffles or Team Pancakes?
When I started out to create this recipe, I wanted to make my version of Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. But then I thought “You know what would be even better? Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Swirl Waffles!” I mean, yeah, pancakes are fluffy, but a waffle is fluffy and crispy, and comes ready-made with tiny pockets for holding berries, chocolate chips, or anything else you want to hide in there. Put syrup on a pancake and you’ll soon have a soggy syrupy mess, but waffles come ready to carry that syrup in its tiny built-in cups, while keeping its edges delightfully crisp. Waffles can be sweet or savory, made for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and are equally delicious with syrup or with chicken, or both! The evidence is overwhelming: Waffles rule!
Making the perfect waffle
Before you can make the perfect Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Swirl Waffles, you need to have the perfect waffle base. I have worked for literally years to make mine the best! I had three requirements for the perfect waffle. It had to be crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and it had to taste amazing. I hit all three nails right on the head! (Is that the right metaphor?)
Main ingredients for these waffles
- All-purpose flour I use plain all-purpose flour in these waffles. You could use whole wheat if you wanted, but I think that might make them heavier, which is not what we’re looking for here.
- Cornstarch This is the secret ingredient that gives you that crispy shell on the outside of the fluffy waffle. I use a bit of cornstarch whenever I want to give a good crunch to my fried foods, so I thought it would help here. And it does!
- Baking powder and baking soda Their job is to give you fluffy waffles. I add a bit of baking soda whenever I use buttermilk because they are best friends in the fluffiness game.
- Milk and buttermilk I use both kinds of milk here for a couple of reasons; buttermilk gives a nice amount of tang to the waffles, kind of a high note to accompany the lemon, and because of its acidity, it also helps to keep the waffles tender. Too much buttermilk, in combination with the ricotta we’ll be adding, can ultimately make the waffle batter too thick, so I use regular milk (whole or skim) to thin it a bit.
- Lemon Who doesn’t want a little zip? I use the juice and the zest.
- Ricotta While the lemon gives the waffles bright flavor, the ricotta keeps them moist and adds to the fluffiness. If you can make your own Homemade Ricotta, it really shines here, but a good store bought whole milk ricotta will work just as well.
- Blueberry preserves Swirling a high quality blueberry preserve (I prefer Bonne Maman brand, but use the best you can find that suits your budget) into the waffle batter gives you surprise pops of sweet stickiness that play so nicely with the lemon.
- Zest your lemon right into the sugar. Before anything else happens, use your fingers to scrinch the sugar and zest together. It’s not a requirement (how would I know?), but doing it presses the lemon oils in the zest into the sugar and brings so much more lemon flavor to the waffles.
- Thoroughly whisk together all the wet ingredients, including the ricotta cheese, milk, lemon juice, and eggs until no more ricotta lumps are visible. Don’t add the blueberry preserves yet. That’s the surprise ending!
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together, including your zesty sugar.
- Add wet to dry and fold together until just blended. We added buttermilk for added tenderness, we don’t want to lose it by over-mixing the batter.
- Swirl in your blueberry preserves. Start by warming about 3 tablespoons of blueberry preserves in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. You just want to loosen it up a bit. Dollop small teaspoonfuls all across the surface of your batter and, using a butter knife or a long skewer, swirl the preserves gently throughout, making sure to reach all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Don’t over-swirl! As you scoop your batter, you’ll capture ribbons of blueberry preserves that will bake up in the waffles like a dream!
- Serve with fresh blueberries, warm maple syrup, and some salty sweet Everything Seasoned Bacon!
MAKING THIS RECIPE?
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Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Swirl Waffles
- Waffle Maker
- Zest of one lemon
- 3 tbs sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 195 g
- ½ cup cornstarch 60 g
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup buttermilk 240 g
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup ricotta 120 g
- ¼ cup vegetable oil 60 g
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 60 g melted
- 3 tbs lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs blueberry preserves
- In a medium bowl, add lemon zest to granulated sugar. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
- In another medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together ricotta cheese, buttermilk, and milk until no lumps of ricotta remain. Add oil, melted butter, lemon juice, and eggs and whisk again.
- Sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients and, using a rubber or silicone spatula, fold the dry into the wet. Mix until just combined. There will be some lumps, which is absolutely fine. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Warm blueberry preserves for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Drop by teaspoonsful onto the top of the batter. Using a butter knife, or a long skewer, swirl the preserves into the batter, reaching all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Don’t over-swirl.
- Using a large measuring cup, or a large ice cream scoop, drop batter (as much as is recommended by your waffle maker’s manufacturer) onto waffle maker. Cook as directed, or until steam stops billowing from the waffle maker, about 4-5 minutes. Keep warm in a 200°F oven while you finish cooking the rest of your waffles.
- Serve with warm maple syrup and fresh blueberries.