Daring Cooks August Challenge: Cornmeal (Pancakes)

Rachael of pizzarossa was our August 2012 Daring Cook hostess and she challenged us to broaden our knowledge of cornmeal! Rachael provided us with some amazing recipes and encouraged us to hung down other cornmeal recipes that we’d never tried before – opening our eyes to literally 100s of cuisines and 1000s of new-to-us recipes!

To be honest, I'm not a fan of cornmeal. I've tried some recipes before, also with polenta (like this apple cake) but I didn't find it compelling. It always had a kind of 'raw' taste and left the impression of eating sand behind. There are some products made of cornmeal I like - for example tacos or french fries made out of cornmeal. So I gave it a try and chose one of the recipes given at the end  - lemon cornmeal pancakes - I love lemon, so this couldn't be a wrong choice I though. I was right. I loved the sponge-like consistency, the lemon flavour and the mixture of all-purpose and cornmeal flour which makes the pancakes a satiable dish. Instead of using blueberries and maple syrup I stacked them together with raspberry jam (in Germany, we usually eat pancakes with jam, sugar or apple sauce) becaus I love the lemon-raspberry-combination.

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with raspberry jam

adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 240 ml buttermilk
  • 230 ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup (125 g) unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1 ½ cups (238 g) yellow cornmeal 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
In a medium bowl , whisk together the lemon juice, milk, and zest; set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk egg and melted butter into milk until combined. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (a few lumps should remain). Do not over mix.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes; add 1 teaspoon oil and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Pour batter onto on skillet. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Serve immediately, and repeat with remaining batter, using remaining vegetable oil only if necessary.

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