Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes

If you haven't already guessed from the title of this blog, I'm a big fan of pancakes. For me, a stack of pancakes served with butter and plenty of maple syrup is the ultimate breakfast, whose superiority can best be described in hypothetical breakfast scenarios. For example, if Pancakes were a contender in Game of Thrones, they would definitely be sitting on the Iron Throne by now; if there were a Breakfast Olympics, Pancakes would be the repeat gold medalists (with French Toast taking the silver and Home Fries taking the bronze, probably). If Breakfast were the Academy Awards, Pancakes would totally be the Meryl Streep of the Oscar count, with more Oscars than they could count. You get what I'm saying.

Apart from being the winner in all hypothetical breakfast scenarios, pancakes are also awesome in terms of their versatility. While buttermilk pancakes are the most classic type of pancake, I've also made chocolate chip pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, gingerbread pancakes, and  banana pancakes, among others --  the possibilities are endless. These pancakes are based on a recipe that I came across many years ago in one of my mom's Bon Appetit magazines, and they're among my very favorites. They are a  bit different than your average pancakes for a couple of reasons: first off, they're made with cornmeal, which may sound strange, but really works -- think of these as a cross between cornbread and your average blueberry pancake (certainly can't go wrong with that combination, right?)  The cornmeal also gives the pancakes a more substantial consistency and wholesomeness that regular all flour pancakes do not have. These are also far fluffier than the average pancake thanks to beaten egg whites, which are not always a given in your basic pancake recipe but make a world of difference. Finally, these pancakes are sweetened with honey, not sugar, which gives them a nice underlying sweetness that is fantastic with the blueberries. 

This recipe is flexible -- if you're not a fan of blueberries you can also substitute raspberries here or even sliced strawberries. If you don't have buttermilk on hand (I've never seen it here in Italy) you can easily use plain whole milk yogurt (see my note below). If you're not a fan of maple syrup, these would also be great drizzled with honey or served with blueberry compote. Enjoy everyone!

CORNMEAL  BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk, or substitute 2 cups of plain yogurt (not low fat or non fat) thinned with 2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons honey
2
cups blueberries

Extra butter for cooking the pancakes
Maple syrup* 

Directions:
Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk or yogurt, melted butter, egg yolks and honey. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Next, beat the egg whites in another medium bowl to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 2 additions. Stir in the blueberries.

Melt a little butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop the pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the skillet. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. 
Using a spatula, turn the pancakes over. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes.  

Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to skillet as necessary. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup (*tip: warm the maple syrup up in the microwave for 20 seconds or so -- my mom always served our pancakes with warm maple syrup and now I can't have them any other way!) Makes 16-18 pancakes. 



Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine (April 1996).







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