Everywhere you look in the summer in Maryland, there’s fresh sweet corn. It’s great grilled, but we don’t really have access to a grill right now. And it’s good boiled and sprinkled with chili powder. But there’s only so many times you can eat that in one summer.
I wasn’t totally sure how these were going to be. I originally planned to make them savory and serve them with salsa and sour cream (you can do this by eliminating the sugar and adding a little more salt). But then I didn’t have a plan for breakfast Saturday morning, and when I suggested corn pancakes, my husband’s eyes got as big as… well, pancakes.
My mom got me this happy (seriously, it has a happy face) corn thing a while ago, but I hadn’t really used it before. It works really well to get the kernels off the cob… or you can just use a knife, like a normal person.
Random story interlude: A year or so ago, Isabel was in Rockville, Md. (ew) for business and I went to see her (for the first time in like, ages). We ended up going to this super random restaurant that specialized in waffles. They had sweet waffles, savory waffles, waffles as croutons, waffles for dipping in hummus. It was weird. But shockingly, it was pretty good. I feel like these pancakes are similar to those waffles in that they are very versatile. Moral of the story: make these pancakes.
If you’ve never made pancakes at home, you’re missing out. The batches I make always end up with a few weird-looking ones, but they always taste fabulous. I would suggest starting with small pancakes, because they are much easier to flip and deal with in general. You can work your way up to larger ones.
A couple things about making pancakes: If you have a griddle, use it. Otherwise, a skillet is fine. You should brush it with a little butter (or coat it with cooking spray) and heat it before you start cooking. Once numerous bubbles start rising to the surface and bursting, it’s time to flip the pancake. Cook it on the other side for just a minute or so longer and you’re good to go.
If there are some bubbles bursting but the edges are gooey and it’s not holding together well when you try to slide the spatula under, wait a while longer. That usually means it’s not quite cooked on the one side and you could end up with this if you flip it anyway:
If the pancakes are browning fast but don’t seem to be cooking all the way through, your griddle/skillet is too hot. And if you want to serve them all at once, you can keep the first pancakes warm by putting them on a cookie sheet in the oven on “warm.” Just don’t leave them in there for more than about 20 minutes.
Our maple syrup lives in a penguin. I like to put about 1/3 cup of maple syrup and a tablespoon of butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave it for about 30 seconds. Then stir, pour the warm, buttery syrup over your pancakes and enjoy.
Makes about 9 smallish pancakes
Sweet corn pancakes (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup freshly cut kernels of sweet corn (it took me about an ear and a half to get enough)
1/8 teaspoon salt plus a pinch for seasoning corn
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal (I used yellow, but white is fine, too)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Melt butter in a large skillet or griddle pan over medium heat. Add corn and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to brown slightly. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel (carefully, so you don’t burn yourself!).
Whisk egg slightly in a large bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, corn, vanilla and sugar. In another (smaller) bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined but still lumpy.
Reheat your skillet/griddle to medium. Brush the pan with butter and spoon/pour in a small amount (about 1/4 cup) batter. (I usually do one at a time because it’s too hard to flip one without messing up another in my skillet). Cook until bubbles start breaking on top and the sides start to firm. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side (this should not take long). Serve immediately with butter and syrup or keep in a warm oven until all pancakes are ready.