Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Griddle me up some sweet corn pancakes

Corn pancakes are so unassumingly delicious.  Who would think that chunks of corn folded into pancake batter would make such a lovely combination?
My mom would always make a variation of these growing up, usually as a way to use up leftover corn, but these pancakes are reason enough to go cook up some corn on the cob.

These pancakes are thick without being doughy or tough--still managing to be light and airy, leaving you so satisfied with the pleasantly sweet crunch of fresh corn in every bite.  The whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe adds flavor and dimension without making the pancakes too dense.  I really recommend using fresh corn because it is central to the taste, texture, and crunch of the pancakes, however, I've never used canned corn for this recipe so I can't say how it turns out.  I made these pancakes with fresh corn kernels cut from corn on the cob leftover from dinner the night before.  Best results will come from fresh summer corn.
Whole Wheat Sweet Corn Pancakes

1 c. milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick) plus extra for pan
1 1/4 c. fresh sweet corn kernels
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs

Place fresh corn kernels in a small bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium-low heat until butter is melted.  Take care not to let the milk get to a simmer.  Take pan off burner, pour over corn, and let cool.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits that may remain in the sifter.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the cooled milk mixture and whisk gently to combine.  Gently stir in the flour mixture, mixing until the ingredients are just combined.  Be careful not to over-mix the batter or the pancakes will be tough. 

Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan.  Rub the pan with butter and pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto the pan.  Once bubbles begin to form (about 2-3 minutes), flip the pancake and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes in total.  Wipe the pan with a cloth or paper towel and rub the pan with butter again before cooking the next batch.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

These are best served hot off the griddle, but if you are eating with a group of people it's best that you're not forced to arrive late to the party (the corn pancake party, that is).  Rather than being stuck over the stove while everyone is chowing down, keep the pancakes hot until you finish cooking all of the batter by placing pancakes on a baking sheet in a preheated 200°F oven.  I usually preheat the oven while I am making the batter and once my first batch is done and placed in the oven to stay warm, I turn off the oven--saving some energy and using the retained heat to keep the pancakes warm.

Serve the pancakes with warm maple syrup or a dollop of apple butter and enjoy.

Makes 12-14 pancakes.

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