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Blog

cornmeal pancake breakfast

Andrea

Last weekend, Brian and I may have discovered our new favorite breakfast.  In fact, had there been bacon crumbled across the short stacks occupying our plates I feel certain that I could have written, with 100% truth, that this was the Best [Homemade] Breakfast Ever.  And yes, those words deserve to be capitalized.  It is no surprise that the inspiration and recipe for said breakfast came from Molly Wizenburg's A Homemade Life, a book that I thought was still loaned out to a friend and so had not cracked open in quite some time.  Imagine my delight when I noticed its friendly seafoam spine peeking out from between Ad Hoc at Home and NOMA...a lovely surprise, indeed.

This recipe for cornmeal pancakes is actually meant to be an appetizer; the cakes 1/4 the size pictured here, topped with a confetti of fabulous flavors. We made them their intended way, just a week ago, to bring as an hors d'oeuvres to a dinner party.  They were delicious, for sure, but I kept thinking as I popped them one-by-one into my mouth that there was a whole lot of effort invested in those bite-size cakes and that really, made bigger and topped with a fried egg, they would make for quite the weekend breakfast without all of the fuss. I was right. The combination of slightly-sweet corn cakes with fried egg, fresh tomatoes, and a hint of green onion was the perfect start to our Sunday, a morning I would like to repeat very soon.

The batter for these cakes comes together easily and cooks up into the most perfect pancake shape, texture, and color. They would be lovely to serve to guests for weekend brunch, or to whip up and freeze for weekday breakfasts.

Cornmeal Pancakes

from a homemade life, by molly wizenberg

serves 3

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ear of corn
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (don't skimp here...)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, plus more for brushing the pan
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1-1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

For Serving

  • really good eggs, however you like them cooked
  • really ripe tomatoes
  • chopped green onions
  • coarse salt and ground pepper

Method

  1. Remove the kernels from the cob using a sharp knife (this method works very well). Put a small, heavy skillet (cast iron if you have it) over medium-high heat on the stove top. When hot, add the kernels and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the corn is browned in spots and fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the kernels into the bowl of a food processor.  Allow to cool.
  2. Next, prepare the batter.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another small bowl, combine the milk, water, canola oil, and maple syrup (leave out the vinegar for now). 
  3. When the corn is cool, process it briefly in the food processor, until it is finely chopped.  Add the corn to the dry ingredients, along with the wet ingredients and the vinegar, and whisk just to combine.  The batter will be foamy and will thicken.  Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat. When the pan is hot, brush it lightly with oil.  Scoop the batter by the 1/4 cup onto the griddle, forming round cakes about 5 inches in diameter. Cook until the edges of the cakes look dry and the underside is golden, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip to brown the other side. You should have 6-8 cakes when finished.
  5. Serve topped with egg, tomatoes, and green onions.