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Prepare a Homemade Mother’s Day Brunch at Home Get the recipes for pancakes, sticky buns and cocktails from Savory Experiments' Jessica Formicola

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Jessica Formicola, Savory Experiments | Photo Provided

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Baltimore-based food blogger Jessica Formicola of Savory Experiments shares some easy recipes for an at-home Mother’s Day brunch.

Formicola left her job as a psychotherapist to pursue her passions: family, food and travel. Jessica aims to make family meals taste restaurant quality using the four S’s: salt, seasonings, sauces and substitutions.


Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are easy blueberry pancakes made with creamy ricotta cheese. Ricotta hotcakes are a super fluffy pancake recipe. The best pancakes are made from scratch!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • Cooking spray or butter for griddle
  • Homemade Blueberry Syrup

Directions

  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk ricotta cheese, egg, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients, whisking until just moistened and combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Heat griddle to 350 degrees or a large skillet to medium-high heat. Grease with butter or cooking spray.
  6. Measure approximately 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake. You can make them as large or as small you want. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown and tops begin to bubble. Flip and repeat, being careful not to overcook.
  7. Remove and, if desired, place cooked pancakes in a warm oven until the remainder are finished. Continue with remaining pancake batter.

Notes

Pro Tip: Separating the eggs, mixing in a frothy egg white and the yolk can make your pancakes fluffier.

Old-Fashioned Pecan Sticky Buns

Old-Fashioned Pecan Sticky Buns

Pecan Sticky Buns are one of the best hot sticky bun recipes. They’re made the way grandma on the farm made them with a caramel pecan sauce.

Ingredients

For the Bread Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons active yeast or 1 packet
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening, melted
  • Cooking Spray

For the Caramel Pecan Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

For the Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

For the Bread Dough:

  1. Heat whole milk in the microwave for 1 minute. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, or a large mixing bowl, place yeast, sugar and salt. Stir.
  2. Add hot milk and allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes, or until yeast has activated, bloomed and smells fragrant.
  3. Stir in whisked eggs and then half of the flour.
  4. Mix with the bread hook until mixture is fully incorporated and dough drapes off of the hook. You can also use a large wooden mixing spoon and work your arm muscles.
  5. Stir in melted shortening and remaining flour. Continue to knead with the bread hook or hands until dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Roll dough into a ball and place into a large, well-greased mixing bowl. Turn once to cover all exterior with butter or grease. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Dough will double in size.

For the Caramel Pecan Topping:

  1. While dough rises, make the caramel pecan topping by placing butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat, sitting occasionally. It is very important that the mixture does not reach a boil or even a simmer. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved and fully incorporated and remove from heat.
  2. Spray a 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking dish or two 9-inch circular pie plates with cooking spray. Pour caramel pecan mixture evenly into the bottom of the dish(es). Sprinkle with pecans. Allow butterscotch topping to cool while you roll the dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, approximately 14 by 22 inches.

For the Cinnamon Filling:

  1. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Brush melted butter over dough and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

For the Sticky Buns:

  1. Roll dough tightly from the short end. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 equal slices. Place slices directly on top of butterscotch topping (either all 12 in the 9-by-13-inch pan or six per pie plates).
  2. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If the tops start to brown, loosely lay a piece of aluminum foil over top.
  4. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Now comes the tricky part. You have to flip this bad boy onto a large platter. Choose a serving dish that is larger than your cookware and be careful not to burn yourself.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy your Old-Fashioned Pecan Sticky Buns.
Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad 

This is one of the best fruit salad recipes. With an easy fruit salad dressing of agave and fresh mint, it’s the perfect refreshing salad recipe for summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, small leaves or minced
  • 4 to 6 cups fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine light agave nectar with mint.
  2. Drizzle fruit with agave-nectar mixture.
  3. Serve immediately.

Notes

Substitute light agave nectar for dark agave nectar or honey. Add the seeds from 1 vanilla bean for an even more intense flavor.

All photography courtesy Jessica Formicola, Savory Experiments

A version of this article was originally published by Baltimore Style magazine, a sister publication of Baltimore’s Child.

About Michael Vyskocil

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