The Great American Johnnycake
I have wonderful memories of preparing and eating Johnnycakes with my grandmother. These little golden gems were delicious sizzling hot right out of the pan and served with honey. My grandmother also cooked a savory version served with my favorite gravy. Her Johnnycakes were crispy golden brown on the outside and creamy soft on the inside.
Johnnycakes have a rich tradition on the east coast and into the southern states. Johnnycakes can be traced back to the Native Americans and settlers of the region. They were often called journey cakes as they were prepared and packed for travel. Also referred to as hoecakes when they were cooked on the blade of a garden hoe over a fire. Depending on the region, the Johnnycakes were served with fresh maple syrup, molasses, honey or gravy. Johnnycakes are a staple food in those areas.
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I infuse my version of Johnnycakes with the fresh flavor of cooked sweet corn paired with cornmeal. Many recipes call for whole stone ground corn meal, which includes the bran and germ of the corn kernel. The bran and germ of the kernel add delicious flavor, but the whole dried kernel needs reconstituting after being ground into the corn meal. I prefer to use fresh cooked corn and take advantage of its moisture, flavor, and nutrition rather than reconstituting whole stone ground corn meal with water.
Here is the recipe for my Fresh Corn Johnnycakes.
Fresh Corn Johnnycakes
1 Cup Fresh Cooked Corn or Cooked Frozen Corn
½ Cup cornmeal
¼ Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tsp. Sugar for Sweet Johnnycakes. Omit for savory.
2 Tbsp. Sweet Cream Butter
Mix the dry ingredients with the hot cooked corn and pulse through a food processor or high-powered blender until the corn is thoroughly ground. The mixture should have a sticky cookie dough consistency. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes while the cornmeal softens.
Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a pan. Maintain a medium heat setting. Lower the temperature if the butter begins to burn. Using a one tablespoon cookie scoop, drop six scoops into the hot pan. Press each scoop gently with the spatula to make little patties. Cook several minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip the Johnnycakes over and again cook until golden brown. Set aside and keep warm. Add remaining butter and remaining six scoops of dough and cook. This recipe makes 12 small Johnnycakes.
This recipe is very quick and easy. Your friends and family will love these little golden gems. They are a perfect snack for kids or prepared as an appetizer or side dish. Enjoy!