This weekend I took a road trip to Minneapolis (that’s in Minnesota, for all you coasties) for my cousin’s wedding! It was such a beautiful wedding and the entire weekend was lovely. My sister (Jenn) and her husband (Tyler) and I drove from Milwaukee to the twin cities, where Tyler’s sister (Lauren) and her husband (John) live, so not only did we get to attend the wedding, we got to visit with/stay with Lauren and John! As they are two delightful people and wonderful hosts, this only made the weekend more exciting and enjoyable.
On Saturday, Lauren and John took us to this adorable cafe called French Meadow Bakery & Cafe for an early celebratory birthday brunch for John. The menu offered a variety of fresh and appetizing selections, complete with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Honestly I wanted to eat like 9 of them. But for some reason, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vegan/gluten-free Corn Blueberry Pancake. I rarely eat brunch out, and when I do for some reason I’m rarely in the mood for sweet, but I was at this exact moment, so I went with my eyes/gut, got this pancake (and a side of fresh fruit), and was probably the happiest camper and/or clam in all of the twin cities area.
MmMmMmm. How was this pancake delightful? Let me count the ways…soft but had nice golden/crunch edges and top, bursting with blueberries, with a delicate corn flavor that wasn’t at all sweet, which made it pair perfectly with the real maple syrup it was served with. Lauren and John ensured me that it was good when I mentioned wanting it, and once it got to the table I was, for once, happy with my decision and had *zero* order envy (win!). Everyone at the table either tried it or had already tried it, and it is a unanimous winner.
Jenn had a bit, and said “Kath, can you make these?” To which of course, I was like “Consider it done,” and got all excited because I love a little culinary challenge/mission to have. So since then, I haven’t been able to get those dang corn pancakes off my mind. So today I set out to make some! Mine, like the ones from French Meadow, are delicate and perfectly fluffy without being too fluffy, have a tender corn flavor without being very sweet, and are gluten and dairy-free. I twisted them a bit by using frozen blackberries instead of blueberries, which I ended up liking even better. The crumbly texture of the blackberries adds to the delicate corn crumb of the pancakes in a way that the blueberries didn’t.
But they would be great with blueberries instead, or with nothing added at all. You could even eat them plain with a smudge of pb+j or use them (like I did for lunch) in place of a bun on a veggie burger. But please do make these. They are excellent; dare I say, these are better than the pancakes that inspired them.
Even my mom gave them an “A+++” and she would never lie about a matter as serious as corncakes. Millie and Sash liked them too, in case you were curious ;-). So congrats to David & Diana (the newlyweds), and thank you for inviting me to your gorgeous wedding. Additional thanks to Lauren and John for suggesting this particular spot for brunch, and thanks to Jenn and Tyler for covering the bill and for driving to Minnesota and being awesome in general. Now let’s get corny with some corncakes, y’all!
Blackberry Cornmeal Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup almond (or soy) milk
- 2 teaspoons vinegar (any kind will work)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (if you don’t have these, 2 tablespoons flax, 2 tablespoons applesauce, or 1/2 a banana)
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup oatflour (1/2 cup rolled oats processed into a flour in a food processor or blender)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blackberries (halved) or blueberries
1.Preheat skillet to 225 degrees.
2.In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar. This is going to create a psuedo-buttermilk of sorts. Trust me on this. Mix it a little, then let it sit for at least 10 minutes. You can also add chia seeds or flax to this mixture. These will help thicken it a little, but if you don’t have them, you can use applesauce or banana, but wait to add them until you mix the wet with dry. If you have none of these, 2 tablespoons of water will also do the trick.
3.In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, oatflour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Mix.
4.Add the almond milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture. If you’re using apple sauce, banana, or water, instead of chia or flax, add that now.
5.Cut blackberries in half if using blackberries.
6.If not using a non-still skillet, lightly grease the skillet with vegetable oil.
7.Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop 1/4-1/3 cup batter and pour gently on the hot skillet. Once the batter has hit the skillet surface, add blackberry halves or blueberries and allow to cook until the edges are slightly pulling up and the center is bubbling. This will take about 1-2 minutes. You can peak with a pancake flipper too, if you’d like. Once you see golden brown, flip the pancake and cook the other side, another 1-2 minutes.
8. Move to a plate. Admire colors and flavors of pancakes. Eat with maple syrup, jelly, nut butter, or melted coconut oil. Enjoy!