This No-Flip Blueberry Cornmeal Pancake Recipe is Weird and Wonderful


I do most of my best creative work in a hot shower at night, so it was no great surprise when the concept for a Giant No-Flip Blueberry Pancake revealed itself to me one evening as I lathered up. Why I was thinking about pancake recipes at that moment is an ongoing mystery, but when the combination of cornmeal and blueberries appeared in the steam as though from a pancake genie’s bottle, I took notice.

The next morning, I marched my sparkling-clean self into the test kitchen and shared my jumbo-sized vision with Molly Baz and Sarah Jampel, Basically’s keepers, and they told me to get to work.

I had a lot of confidence going into it. People love pancakes, and a large section of that population also loves blueberry pancakes, and I felt like making one gigantic pancake would solve quite a few of humanity’s problems (plus, the most recent recipe on our site is so old, the image is blurry).

See, I make a lot of pancakes in my spare time, and I am a very firm believer in serving and eating them the minute they come out of the skillet. Yes, technically, you can keep the first batch warm in the oven while you make the rest, but everyone knows those inaugural pancakes suffer. If there was just one pancake big enough to share, we all win! It’s easier for the cook, and everyone eats at the same time.

Now we could get into a whole thing here about fluffy pancakes and flapjack-style pancakes, lacy-edged pancakes and lofty soufflé pancakes, whole wheat pancakes and yogurt pancakes, but everyone knows the best pancakes are made with buttermilk and stand up tall on the plate, so that’s where I wanted to end up.

I questioned the necessity of the cornmeal, but it just felt right. Cornmeal and blueberries are a classic combo—one of those “if it grows together it goes together” pairings. Put it this way: If I offered you a blueberry-corn muffin, you’d eat it. This is the pancake version of that.

I added varying quantities of cornmeal and experimented with leaveners in increasingly maddening ratios until I got my roster of dry ingredients—all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder—just right.

For the wet ingredients, I stuck to the classics: buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Rather than adding them all at once to the dry ingredients, I came across a method that called for combining the wet and dry ingredients in two additions—so I tried it, and I got a very tender, very fluffy pancake. Because combining in smaller amounts means you’re less likely to overmix the ingredients (which would deflate and toughen the batter), the pancakes stay light and tender.



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