You know how sometimes you get an idea for something so original, and so revolutionary, you wonder how no one else ever thought of it before? Then you Google it and find that, yes—someone did think of it before and no—you are not a wunderkind. When I first began experimenting with these pancakes I delayed researching them for fear of discovering my subconscious had plagiarized the recipe without my permission. But a quick Google search yielded no such recipe! Am I the first person to combine cornmeal and almond meal in pancake form? Probably not. Am I the only person to post a recipe to the world wide web? The answer appears to be yes!
I’ve been a fan of cornmeal pancakes since I made Mark Bittman’s recipe ages ago. And though I’m not a follower of the Paleo Diet, or any diet, it was how I first learned of almond meal pancakes. It seemed completely natural to combine the two. The result was a flavorful pancake with a tender crumb and crisp edges. I served them with maple syrup and red pepper honey, though the possibilities are endless: tomato jam, balsamic reduction, berry compote, cream cheese and red pepper jelly… The imagination runs wild!
First off, what is the difference between almond flour and almond meal? They’re pretty interchangeable. Wikipedia says that almond flour is made from blanched almonds (no skins) and almond meal is made from whole almonds (peel included.) I used Bob’s Red Mill’s version, but I’ve also had good luck with Trader Joe’s almond meal in the past. Trader Joe’s is definitely a lot cheaper. The blog Boomie’s Kitchen has an interesting comparison of the two. You can also make your own with either a spice grinder or a food processor.
When you buy your cornmeal, make sure you get just plain cornmeal. Many grocery stores carry self-rising mixes that include leavening agents. I like to buy straight up corn meal and add my own leaveners as needed. I use House Autry Yellow Plain Corn Meal. The color is beautiful, the cornbread recipe on the back is terrific, and I think the brand name has a cool cowboy feel to it. I like it enough to forgive the red gingham on their website.
Red Pepper Honey
Last year some friends gave us a jar of red pepper honey, which begged for cornbread. It seemed the perfect topping for these pancakes. The New York Times has a recipe for red pepper honey that is so simple it barely qualifies as a recipe. You can make as much or as little as you like!
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 -1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the pan
- * I have made these without the whole wheat flour and they turned out great. I find it adds a little body to the batter, but if you want them to be gluten-free, omit it.
- Place the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk, the egg, and the olive oil. Whisk until well incorporated. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir as little as possible, until combined. If the mixture is too thick add the rest of the buttermilk a little at a time, until the batter can be poured slowly. It should be thick enough to spread out when poured onto the hot pan, but not too runny.
- Cook the pancakes on your choice of pan or griddle. I like to use olive oil for the unexpected way its flavor complements the corn and almond, but any kind of fat or oil would work. They cook up just like regular pancakes: look for the air bubbles to come to the top of the uncooked side before flipping them. Keep them warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve them.
- Makes 8-10 pancakes, depending on size. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. I haven’t tried freezing them, so if you do let me know how it goes!
Enjoy, and thanks for reading!