I’m a sucker for blue cornmeal. To me, it just seems so exotic because I didn’t see much of it growing up in Indiana. Colorado though- that’s a different story.
When the cornmeal is whisked into a batter, the baked product usually comes out a dusty, blue-gray color. It may not be the most appealing color, but I welcome the refreshing change from the standard yellow or white. I once made a bread dough that was gray due to a portion of ground mineral-rich sea salt added in. Food is fascinating!
These photos were taken the day before our first snow on the mountaintops. It was a stunning September day and our hike began with a bull moose sighting across the valley. Later that day, the rain moved in. It never got cool enough to snow down here (not yet, at least), but the next morning the peaks met the sky with crisp white edges.
Most people here get very excited over the ‘first snow’. I have to admit I was little bummed. That snow is the official gesture that yes, fall is here, and summer is now a thing of the past.
The following day, a chilly one, I hung around in my kitchen. I pulled that blue cornmeal off the shelf and mixed up some griddle cakes. They are soft and spongy, with a bit of texture from the cornmeal. Though delicious with pats of butter and honey, I opted to spread a bit of plum butter in between each pancake in my stack and eat them with the last of our summer peaches. A farewell, I suppose.
How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:
Blue Corn Griddle Cakes
Adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup blue cornmeal
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, for the skillet
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together.
- Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. Place the cornmeal in a bowl and slowly pour the boiling water over the cornmeal, stirring continuously. Let the cornmeal sit and soak for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice occasionally.
- After 10 minutes, whisk in the brown sugar.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal in three parts (start and end with the flour mixture). Stir in the melted butter
- Heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium heat.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet to coat the surface. Drop griddle cakes in ¼-cup batches into the skillet. They will spread, so don't overcrowd your pan.
- Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops are bubbly, about 1-2 minutes, then flip the cakes over and cook another 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Leftover batter can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- Makes 10-12 large griddle cakes, or 20 small.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase your baking powder to 1 tablespoon and your baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon.