Recipe: Cornmeal pancakes

Recipe: Cornmeal pancakes
Cornmeal pancake recipe. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Nothing makes Times Food editor Russ Parsons feel like a dad more than cooking a good breakfast. Not some fancy menu full of hollandaise and cream sauce, either, but hearty, home-style food, such as the cornmeal pancakes from the 1943 edition of the "Joy of Cooking." Though the author, Irma Rombauer, a good Midwesterner, wasn't one to sing the praises of her recipes, she does describe this one as "delicate and good." They certainly are. The trick here is pre-cooking the cornmeal by covering it with boiling water for 10 minutes. That softens it just enough to give the meal a tender texture. Serve this with good maple syrup, or with homemade jam.

Cornmeal pancakes


Total time:

30 minutes


2 to 4


Adapted from the 1943 "Joy of Cooking" by Irma Rombauer

1 cup white or yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, sugar or syrup

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup milk

1 egg


1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Combine the cornmeal,

salt, butter and honey in a large, heavy bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top and whisk well to combine. Cover tightly and let stand at least 10 minutes.

2. Measure the milk

into a measuring cup. Add the egg and beat well with a fork until smooth. Stir this into the cornmeal mixture.

3. Sift together

the flour and baking powder and stir into the cornmeal mixture with a few swift strokes.

4. Heat the griddle

until a few drops of water dance and skitter across the surface. Butter or grease the griddle lightly, then pour the batter in one-third cup measures. Cook until bubbles stop appearing and the top surface appears slightly dry, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook just until the center feels set and no longer liquid, 1 to 3 more minutes. This makes about 8 pancakes.

5. Serve immediately

with syrup or jam, or keep warm on a cookie sheet in a 200-degree oven.

Each of 4 servings:

280 calories; 7 grams protein; 44 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 71 mg. cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 868 mg. sodium.