Makes 15 two-inch Johnnycakes (serves 4)
Time: 30 minutes
Somewhere between cornbread and pancake lies Johnnycake! To be honest, my knowledge of Johnnycakes is limited to Little House and the Prairie and The Sopranos, but the two always made me crave these rugged crunchy corn cakes and so after years of yearning, I felt qualified to come up with a recipe.
These pancakes were supposed to have been eaten on the American frontier, when supplies were limited. But I’m not going for a perfect historical representation — I added some fresh corn and brought everything together in the blender. The resulting cakes are at once tender and crunchy and have a rich, salty corn flavor that’s so satisfying drenched in some maple syrup. Oh, and because they’re 100% cornmeal, they contain no gluten!
You absolutely need a really well seasoned cast iron pan or something non-stick because corn likes to stick! If using cast iron, also lightly spray a metal spatula for flipping.
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
1 cup plain almond milk
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a blender, pulse the corn and almond milk around 5 times, just to get the corn a bit chopped up. Add all remaining ingredients and blend for about 5 seconds, or until combined. There should still be chunky pieces of corn left.
Let the batter rest for around 10 minutes, and in the meantime, preheat a well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat. If using non-stick, you only need to preheat 3 minutes or so.
Spray the pan with oil and use ¼ cup measuring cup (or ice cream scoop) to ladle out three johnnycakes. Cook for about 3 minutes, the underside should be crisp and browned, the top still wet. Flip the cakes (spraying the pan as you lift each cake) and cook until crisp and flecked with brown.
Keep finished Johnnycakes on a plate covered with tinfoil as you prepare the rest. Serve with pure maple syrup and a few blueberries if you have them.