Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Currant and lemon cornmeal pancakes


Last year I bought red currants at the farmers' market and was so excited because I had never had fresh ones before. I made my first scones with them and they were delicious. The currants were one of those fleeting finds though as they disappeared from the farmers' market as quickly as they came. The farmer told me they usually only have them for about a week. Over the past weekend, I was at my father-in-law's and happened to mention my desire to find currants again this summer. Well, low and behold, he walks me over the this special spot on his (very large) property to show me his currant bushes that are filled with little red jewels. It was like a secret garden - one that no one has picked since his mother used to make currant jelly many years ago.

So we picked a bunch of currants (not enough for jelly - the birds have been enjoying them) and I brought them home and then wondered what to do with them. I decided on Sunday morning pancakes, one of my specialties. Now that I know about these secret bushes, I'm going to have to get there when they first ripen next year so I can make some currant jelly. This recipe will serve about four people.

Currant and lemon cornmeal pancakes
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup stoneground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, preferably unbleached
1-1/2 cups milk
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more for the griddle)
1 cup fresh currents, stems removed
warmed pure maple syrup, for serving

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a medium bowl (or large liquid measuring cup) whisk together the milk, lemon juice and zest, egg, and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until almost combined. Then very gently fold in the currants until just combined. If your batter is very runny, you may need to stir in another tablespoon or so of flour - this may happen if your lemon is very juicy or your currants are wet.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet until hot. Melt some butter on the pan. Cook the pancakes, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each. Flip when they begin to bubble and turn golden. Cook until the other side is golden. Repeat until all batter has been used.

Serve topped with warmed maple syrup and some extra currants, if desired.


What was I cooking one year ago?: tarragon and grape chicken salad
Two years ago?: grilled pork and stone fruit with balsamic, honey, and black pepper glaze

19 comments:

  1. Wow - lucky you having access to currant bushes! I've actually never tried fresh currants...I wonder if I'll still be able to find them this year

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  2. I don't like pancakes, but I haven't tried different versions like this. Who knows, maybe I'd like these!

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  3. Dear Amy, How nice, as if this little garden was waiting to once again be discovered for all of its splendor.
    I am sure these were just delicious. I do like cornmeal in pancakes it gives them a nice texture.
    Blessings my dearest. Catherine xo

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  4. I've never tried currants before, but this looks like a great way to introduce myself to them. I mean, can you really go wrong with pancakes? Of course not!

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  5. what a fun breakfast! I have dried currants in the pantry that i have no clue what to do with- what a great idea!

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  6. Nice pancakes...although we do not find currants...I love the combination of lemon in this pancakes. Beautiful way to start the day.
    Hope you are having a great week Amy :)

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  7. These look so tasty! I'm always at a loss for what to do with fresh currants when they come from my CSA.

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  8. Delicious. Great way to use up cornmeal!

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  9. I had a close experience before! Excited with having bought fresh cranberries and the like, however, did not turn out as good as yours. I learnt, they are too sour when sugar is not added. :D

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  10. Lovely pancakes, great for breakfast.

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  11. I don't think I've ever had a fresh currant! I do love cornmeal pancakes though...they have such a great texture.

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  12. I have never tried currant before. I've seen it thanks to food blogs I visited, but don't know how they taste like. Cornmeal pancakes sounds delicious. Love how they are perfectly cooked!

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    1. The closest thing I would compare them to is a cranberry in that they are tart, but they don't exactly taste like a cranberry... a little sweeter...

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  13. I've never thought of adding currant in pancakes! What a fabulous idea. Now I know what to do with all the currants in our veg patch! Have a lovely weekend, Amy dear! :)

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  14. The tart bursts of flavor you must get from these currants sounds delicious! Especially with a maple drizzle on top.

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  15. I never had fresh currants before! I bet they're delicious in these pancakes! Lucky you for finding the secret garden!

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  16. How lucky you are to have been able to pick your own currants. This looks like a superb breakfast.

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  17. I saw currants at the farmers' market earlier today but didn't buy any because I didn't know what to do with them. I will go back this week though, you've inspired me!

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  18. I'm am crushing on currants right now! I made a red currant and chia seed cake last week - and guess what? I polished everything off in a couple of sittings!

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