Posted June 24, 2008

A couple of months ago a segment on Good Eats caught my attention: jonnycakes, AKA hoecakes, AKA cornmeal pancakes. I love pancakes, but I'm also a grumpy klutz on weekday mornings, which rules out my (somewhat labor intensive) favorite pancake recipe.

Fortunately, jonnycakes are simple enough to handle in the throes of Morning Brain, plus they're delicious, fast, and cheap. That's a hard combination to beat.

I jiggered Alton's recipe a little bit to reduce the number of implements requiring cleaning:

  • 1 cup of cornmeal (white or yellow)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg
  • Water
First, put a skillet on the stove at medium heat. We'll let that warm up while prepping the batter.

Scoop cornmeal into a small mixing bowl with a 1/3rd cup measuring cup (more on that later), add the salt and baking powder, and plop in the butter. Mix in a bit of boiling water.

The heat is important! Cornmeal is terrified of cold water, and we also want to melt the butter. How much water? Enough so that your batter is still clumpy and doesn't run smooth. This seems to vary depending on your cornmeal ... sorry I can't be more specific!

Mix in the egg, and check the consistency with your measuring cup. Our goal is to be just wet enough so that it pours without clumping. Still clumpy? Add more water. Too runny? Add more cornmeal.

Now you're ready to rock.

Oh yeah, about that measuring cup -- 1/3rd cup of batter produces six perfect sized specimens with this recipe. And it means I only have to wash one measuring cup. Hah.

Alrighty. Pour some batter on the skillet. It should be hot enough to sizzle as soon as it hits the surface. Your milage will vary, but two minutes per side on medium heat gives me a golden brown and airy jonnycake.

Serve with fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, or whatever floats your boat. Almost anything you put on your jonnycakes will cost more than what went in to 'em. The ingredients clock in under $1 even if you're buying local + organic.

Cheaper than Pop Tarts, and way better for ya.

Try it out, tell me what you think.

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