cornmeal_pancakes

Having seen tons of pictures of delicious-looking pancakes last week on my food porn sites, it put me in the mood to make some. I am not a fan of plain ol’ regular pancakes, though, because I find them to be dry, dull, flavorless and only good as a vehicle for syrup.

Whilst looking in my pantry for inspiration, I spotted my neglected (but not expired) box of yellow cornmeal. Ta-da! Thus the cornmeal pancake idea was born and executed. They are a heartier, more substantial version of a regular buttermilk pancake, with a texture similar to buckwheat pancakes. They’re also pretty filling, so a few go a long way.

I also wanted to jazz them up and I spotted a Gala apple (my favorite kind) on my counter, so I decided to do a caramel apple topping. What resulted was a warm, gooey, comforting dish that satiated my crave and satisfied my soul. They weren’t too sweet either, as one would think from the addition of the caramel apple topping. Also, as you can see from the picture, I did leave the skin on my apple on purpose- I like the texture and color it adds to the dish, and after being cooked it became much softer; so peeling the apple is optional. Extra pancake or maple syrup is also optional, though I found it didn’t need it, but it’s up to your personal taste. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes with Caramel Apple Topping
(makes 10 4-inch pancakes)

Cornmeal Batter (adapted from this recipe from Cooking Books)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. In small bowl, mix or sift together dry ingredients (cornmeal through baking soda) to remove lumps.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients (buttermilk through melted butter). Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in two parts by hand, completely incorporating the dry into the wet mix each time.
3. Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. With each addition of batter, spray it with pan spray (or you can cook the pancakes in a small amount of melted butter or vegetable oil).
4. Pour 1/4 of batter for each pancake into the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, flipping when bubbles start to appear. Transfer to an oven safe dish and keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you prepare the caramel apple topping.

Caramel Apple Topping
2 Gala apples, cored and sliced (peeling optional)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add the butter and allow to completely melt.
2. When the butter starts to bubble, add the apples and cook for about a minute, then flip the pieces over to cook the other sides.
3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissovled. Let the mixture cook for another two minutes or so, until it starts to thicken to a caramel-like consistency.
4. Serve immediately, spooned over the cornmeal pancakes.

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