Happy Mother’s Day and Blackberry Polenta Pancakes

First of all, I would like to wish all of the mothers in the world a very happy Mother’s Day! Honestly, every day ought to be Mother’s Day. I depend on my mother so much, and she is one of the strongest, most loving, and most incredible people that I know. I know that I never take enough time to stop and thank her for all that she does. So, Amma, have a wonderful Mother’s Day! I’m sorry I can’t come home this weekend, but I promise to make you something delicious after graduation to compensate!

Mother’s Day always makes me think of brunch. This year, my sister has undertaken the task of preparing a grand feast for my mom and my aunt of quiche and various other breakfast-y goods. In honor of Mother’s Day brunch, I thought I’d share with you a recipe for some awesome cornmeal pancakes.

When I was little, I actually hated pancakes. I have no recollection why this was the case, but I was never excited for pancake breakfasts. As I got older, my love for pancakes grew. These days, blueberry pancakes easily make the list of my all-time favorite foods, followed closely by cornmeal pancakes. I first had cornmeal pancakes during my junior year of high school at the Silver Diner in Rockville, Maryland. They were actually blueberry cornmeal pancakes, and I remember being blown away by their texture. They were soft, but also grainy, and, when paired with the sweetness of the fresh blueberries, unbelievably delicious.

Since then, I’ve tried countless recipes to recreate the same texture of those cornmeal pancakes. I have failed on many occasions, and the perfect pancake remains elusive. Today’s attempt, however, was pretty damn good. I recently discovered this recipe on the New York Times, which combines my love of polenta with my love of pancakes. I had some blackberries leftover from my last trip to Trader Joe’s, so I decided to halve those and throw them in there. They didn’t have quite the bite that I was hoping for, but they were super soft and tasted delicious. I actually think the fluffier texture worked well with that of the blackberries. Next time, I’ll probably cook the polenta a little less and use blueberries. I promise to report back on the results.

So, in the off chance your mother wants “brinner,” consider making her some pancakes. Otherwise, this is a great recipe to file away for a lazy Sunday.

I probably won’t post much this week, as I have more papers to finish, but I will be back next week! Happy eating and best of luck to those of you suffering through finals!

Blackberry Polenta Pancakes

We were running a bit low on milk this morning, so I wound up diluting mine with a bit more water. Don’t do that. These still tasted great, but I bet they would have been even better if I had used all milk!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup polenta
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cups milk (more as needed)
  • 1 pint blackberries, cut in half
  • Butter to grease your pan

Directions:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine your polenta, water, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth and bring to a boil. Continue stirring for ten minutes, then turn off heat and set aside to cool.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together your sugar, flour, baking powder, and about ½ teaspoon salt.
  • Beat your eggs into the cooled polenta, then gradually add your milk, making sure you break apart any clumps that form.

  • Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly coat the pan with butter, using a paper towel to pick up any excess. Drop scant ½ cups of batter into the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pan.
  • Top each pancake with some of the blackberry halves. Cook until the edges have set and the pancakes are starting to bubble. Flip and cook the other side for about 2 more minutes.

  • Transfer to a plate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh fruit and syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes.

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