There was a time during my early twenties when breakfast was an afterthought. As long as I had a black coffee in hand I would race out the door, knowing I’d pick up my favorite sweet thing to accompany it – a corn muffin – on my way to work. I ate one every single day and I don’t remember getting tired of it.

I’ve long since quit fueling my days with caffeine and cake, but I still love the sweet crunch of cornmeal in morning food.

There’s also something about the mix of fresh blackberries, corn, melted butter and maple syrup that screams “New England” and “summer” to me, and that’s a combination I find completely irresistible.

For a deeper corn flavor and texture in these pancakes I use a mixture of unbleached flour and polenta, which consists of the coarsely ground whole corn kernels milled with the germ intact.

Blackberry Polenta Pancakes
By Karen
Makes about 2 dozen


1 1/2 cups stoneground coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter, melted, divided
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 pints fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar


Heat a nonstick or cast iron griddle pan over low heat while you prepare the pancake batter.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients through the baking soda to combine evenly (I like to use a fork or a whisk for this).

In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, milk, 6 tablespoons butter and eggs; pour over the dry mixture and mix with a wooden spoon just until the flour is incorporated. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Put the blackberries into a serving bowl and toss gently with the tablespoon sugar; set aside.

Adjust the heat under the griddle to medium high. Lightly coat the pan with the remaining teaspoon butter. When a drop of water sizzles and immediately evaporates on the griddle, ladle on the batter in approximately 1/4-cup portions. Flip the pancakes when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the edges are dry; adjust the heat as necessary if the pancakes brown too quickly or slowly, depending on your stove.

Serve up the pancakes as they’re ready, spooning over some of the blackberries and their juices.

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