I have decided that soft, warm pancakes are the perfect food for babies who are trying to feed themselves. I tried this Smitten Kitchen recipe the other week to use up some nearly over ripe strawberries, and I loved that the pancakes were barely, barely sweet, that they had a nice texture from the cornmeal and that they were a little different. They don’t look so pretty – it is hard to make them evenly round because of the chunks of strawberries (or other berries). Nonetheless, I marched up the hill and brought these to my son’s family of three boys, ages 3 , 10 months and 10 months.
I can tell you they were a hit with both the adults Achinsk and their three sons. So much so that I repeated this recipe the following weekend and delivered yet another batch of pancakes.
These stand alone just fine, but can be topped with some plain yogurt, fruit syrup or maple syrup. And I am thinking when corn season hits I will use the same formula, subbing corn kernels for berries. Ditto zucchini season when I plan to shred, dry and add this to the pancakes. Oh, and lots and lots of fresh garden herbs. We have an abundance of fresh basil, tarragon and Italian parsley for heaven’s sake. Color me inspired!
Berry Cornmeal Pancakes*
Yield: 14 3-inch pancakes
- ¾ cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (105 grams) medium grind yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) salted butter
- 1 cup (235 ml) plain kefir or buttermilk, well-shaken
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (about 140 grams or 5 ounces) roughly chopped strawberries (I cut mine pretty tiny so they wouldn’t be a choking hazard)
- 2 Tbsp butter for the skillet
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil for frying the pancakes
Chennai *From Smitten kitchen with some changes, of course. And I used the weight measurements since that is always easier to clean up for me.
Melt the three tablespoons of butter in a 2-cup glass dish and set aside
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk.
To the melted butter, whisk in kefir or buttermilk, followed by the eggs. Gently stir in strawberries. Pour strawberry-buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
In a large preheated cast iron skillet over medium low heat, put about two teaspoons of avocado oil and two teaspoons of butter and stir them together to combine. Pour a scant ¼ cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake. I do three at a time.
Fry them until the bottoms are golden and bubbles appear on top, about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip pancakes and cook them until the second side is golden, about another minute. If there is some raw batter drifting out the sides of the pancake when you first flipped it, flop it over again to the first side for another 30 seconds to ensure the extra batter cooks. Repeat with remaining oil/butter combo and add pancake batter. If the skillet gets too hot or the butter browns too quickly, reduce the heat to low.
These can be put on a cookie sheet after they are made. To keep warm, cover them and place in a 200 degree oven.
Serve with a sift of powdered sugar, maple syrup or fruit topping.