Monday, September 7, 2015

A Tale of Two Pancakes, Buckwheat and Corn

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." 
 ~ W.B Yeats

Before I start rambling on about where I've been and what I've been up to, I want to say a gigantic thank you for all of the kind words, messages and emails sent my way after I announced my book news last month (it's been a crazy month!).  I take these to heart and re-read them when I need a burst of encouragement.  It's a ride, this whole cookbook thing.  I've been testing new recipes for it, in addition to freelance recipe writing and my regular food columns.  Oh, and still putting on my chef's whites for my day job.  These hands are seldom idle, but how does that saying go?  Something about making hay while the sun is shining?  Yeah, I'm pretty much doing that.  I'm super fortunate in that I get to take the winter off from professional baking and have my primary focus be the cookbook and my other writing.  I've been padding the bank account like crazy this summer so that I can work from home this winter, and that has me very, very excited.  (If you've ever had to sit in a freezing cold car at 6:00 am, waiting for it to warm up so you can drive to work in -30C, you know what I'm talking about).  Alas, 'tis the way things are and I love every opportunity that presents itself to me.  Life is funny like that... how stuff just fits together and works when it's supposed to.  Timing really is everything. 

Meals have been simple and quick.  Jumbo salads and whatever fresh and seasonal stuff I can throw together quickly.  On some of those sweltering evenings, dinner was ice cream.  Sorrynotsorry.  There was a jug of buttermilk in the back of my fridge and it was the catalyst for some major pancake production.  I have two recipes for you, because one can never have too many good pancake recipes.  And because I love you.  Both are very tasty and make fine meals, either for breakfast or dinner.  The peaches continue to come to the farmers' market (thank you baby jesus!) and so they go on everything, still.

We've had a blast of fall weather this weekend.  I'm even wearing slippers as we speak, but I refuse to turn the furnace on, as it's technically still summer and that would just make me sad.  These are my favourite days, as the seasons are in transit of each other and the smell of change is in the air.   I hope you wished upon some of those fading summer stars, and I hope those wishes came true.  

Sweet Corn Pancakes

I spied these on Smitten Kitchen and knew I had to have them in my life.  I kept the toppings sweet with maple syrup and peaches, but you could just as easily omit the vanilla to make them savoury, and serve with a fresh tomato salsa and maybe even add a little grated cheddar to the mix.  Or crumbled bacon.  Or chives.  Geez!  I need to make these again!  I keep giving myself ideas!  

2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup cooked corn, sliced off the cob
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 tsp vanilla  
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
canola oil for frying

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and melt the butter.  Stir in the corn and warm though, stirring often, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the salt and set aside.  
In a large bowl, beat the egg with buttermilk, vanilla and sugar.  Add the cooled corn mixture.  In another bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda.  Stir this into the wet and mix until it's just combined.  Brush out your skillet and add enough canola to coat the pan.  Drop batter using a large ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure.  Once you see bubbles and a dry edge to the pancake, flip it over and cook until golden, about another minute.   Makes about 9-10 4-inch pancakes.  Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. 

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes 

I found this recipe in Aimée Wimbush's beautiful book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, and I think I have a new favourite weekend pancake.  The buckwheat has a nutty flavour and a bit of a nubby texture that I kind of love, and I always keep a jar of it stashed away in my fridge.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, and eggs, then stir in buttermilk.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat just until combined.  Try not to overmix.  
Heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Grease with canola oil.  Use an ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measure to drop batter onto skillet.  Cook until bubbles form and edges seem a bit dry.  Flip over and cook until golden brown, another minute or so.  
Preheat oven to 200*F and keep cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet, covered with a clean tea towel.  Serve with plenty of butter, maple syrup and fresh fruit.  Makes about 10 6- inch pancakes. 

Other stuff I've been up to....

I made 4 quarts (and then some) of apple butter this weekend, with the apples a good friend left on my doorstep.  It's glorious stuff, and I look forward to cracking into it this winter.  

My latest recipe for Culinaire Magazine is this gorgeous Romesco sauce.  Lovely way to enjoy the bountiful produce at the markets now! 


Who doesn't love rice crispy treats?  My latest column for Bridges newspaper has my back-to-school brown butter version.  Super yum!  I've also been making a weekly quadruple batch of these at work for the past several months now.... I can do it with my eyes closed, I'm sure of it. 



  1. I meant to congratulate you last post, Renee! I love reading about success stories.

    I have recently been making my own cultured butter... and then making brown butter from it. WOW! I continually look for recipes for brown butter. I never thought of puffed rice cake! You are SO clever! Thank you!

    Your other recipes in this post also look wonderfully delicious.

    1. Thanks so much!! Oh, your cultured butter must be delicious!! Jealous!!


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