30 June 2014
Cornmeal pancakes with fresh cherry plums
It has been far too long since I've had a huge plateful of hot, delightful pancakes, so a few days ago I decided to break out the cast iron skillet and go for it. Cornmeal pancakes sounded like an excellent idea. And on top? Some of the summer's best fruit. In my case, that meant our backyard cherry plums.
My initial plan was to embed a few slices of plums into the surface of each pancake, but this turned out to be a challenge. The batter was really too thin to handle big chunks of anything. Fortunately, my backup plan -- simple diced plums on top of each pancake -- worked out exceptionally well.
I went for the silver dollar size, but larger cakes are fine as well. It all depends on your personal preferences, with a glance or two toward the size of your skillet.
These corn cakes work very well with as many sweet plums as you can handle, but they could also go savory, especially if you leave out the maple syrup. That means, among other things, that if you have some of this plum-thyme sauce left over, you should absolutely try it out on these pancakes. A little slice of leftover pork and a leaf of greens would not go amiss either. Pancakes for dinner? Yes.
The best part is folding each pancake into a little plummy taco and eating it with your hands. So good!
Cornmeal pancakes with fresh cherry plums (or plum sauce)
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp melted butter or oil
1 1/2 cups milk of choice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 chopped plums and/or plum sauce to serve
Start by greasing your skillet or griddle lightly with a little butter or flavorless oil. Put it over medium-high heat to get hot while you make your batter.
In a large bowl, combine your cornmeal, flour salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine your eggs, butter, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. I find that a large wooden spoon or paddle works well here. The finished batter will be thin, but no worries! The resulting pancakes are just fine.
Test your pan to see if it's hot enough by flicking a little water onto the surface. If the water immediately boils away, the pan is hot enough. You may need to adjust your heat for optimal cooking temperature.
To cook your pancakes, use a ladle to pour portions of batter onto your hot griddle. Let cook until you see bubbles breaking through the batter all over the surface of your pancake. Check to make sure the underside is golden brown, and then flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the second side is also golden brown. Remove to a warm plate and cover with a tea towel until ready to serve.
Repeat until all your batter is used up.
Eat your pancakes topped with plums or plum sauce. A little sour cream would be excellent with the fresh plums. Some extra butter wouldn't go amiss, either.
I got about 40 silver dollar pancakes from one batch of batter. Obviously, we couldn't eat that much at once. But guess what we could do? Put them in bags and freeze them for future nearly-instant pancake consumption. Now, when I want pancakes, I can just pull a bag out of the freezer, put the cakes in the toaster oven in one layer, and heat them through. It's super nice for an instant breakfast or snack.
Hooray for pancakes!
What delicious and exciting breakfasts are you eating lately? (Or are your breakfasts usually made of coffee? Most of mine are, too. It's ok!)