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Corn Fritters, Corn Cakes?

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grahamcraker's picture
grahamcraker

Corn Fritters, Corn Cakes?

When I was small, my father had an older friend we would visit on the weekends. He would make these; what he called, "Corn Fritters" for me. I loved them! They were actually some kind of corn meal/flour, fresh corn pancake things. He made them like Griddle Cakes, and we poured Maple Syrup on them.

I have tried to replicate them, but am having issues. Anyone Have an Old Family recipe for something like this?

Thanks

Ford's picture
Ford

Here is my recipe.


CORNMEAL PANCAKES

 
2 extra large eggs (or jumbo size), separated and at room temperature
1/4 tspn. cream of tartar
1 Tbs. sugar
1/3 cup (27 oz.) vegetable oil (or melted bacon fat)
1 tspn. salt
2 tspn. double acting baking powder
1/2 tspn. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 1/2 cup (7.3 oz.) white corn meal
1/2 cup (2 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups (16 oz.) buttermilk
(1/4 tspn. mace – gives a distinctive flavor)
 

Place the room temperature egg whites in a clean stainless steel, or copper, or glass, or glazed pottery bowl (not plastic).  Add the cream of tartar and the sugar.  Whip the egg whites until firm peaks will form.  A wire whisk is best for this.  (If grease or egg yolk is present the whites will not whip easily.  The possible presence of grease is the reason for not using plastic for whipping egg whites)


In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are a light yellow color.  Gradually beat in the oil until homogeneous mixture results.  Stir in the baking powder, salt, baking soda, and, if you wish, mace.  Add the corn meal, the flour, and the buttermilk, then beat until smooth.  Fold in the beaten egg whites.  Do not over mix.  Let the batter stand at room temperature for about one hour or longer.


Bake as griddle cakes on a hot griddle, turning only once when the bubbles appear on the surface.  Serve piping hot with melted, real butter and hot, real maple syrup.


Leftover batter may be poured into a greased baking dish, refrigerated for as long as a day, and baked at 400°F for about 30 - 45 minutes or until firm and brown on top.  May also be baked as cornpone.


This recipe was inspired by the corn cakes my Grandfather Thompson made when I (Ford) was a child.  It has gone through many metamorphoses since I first tried to recreate the result.  My brother, Tommy, says that Granddad would laugh at all the steps in this one.  I am sure he would, but this is NOT his recipe.  I will say that his were thinner; these are lighter.


BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Ford,

I grew up in a small town in South Carolina, Lancaster, and had fried cornbread pancakes too.  Back in the late 50's when I was a young child we had a maid - she would fix cornbread this way for our lunch in a black cast-iron skillet.  They were beautiful to look at with little circles of lite color poky-dots all over a much darker brown face.  We would not put syrup on them, but sometimes butter, although they did not really need anything.  She would fry them in butter and they were so good - even cold as a snack in the afternoon.  To be sure none were ever wasted and surely not thrown away.  My grandmother also made these but her specialty was frying a cornbread cake in an old electric skillet - she prepared this everyday for my grandfather.  Even after he passed away, and she was living alone, she still went through the cornbread ritual everyday.  I loved it when I was with her but thought it a bit odd so one day I ask her why she still made so much cornbread with only herself to eat it.  She smiled and said, "Well, you know the dog hasn't died yet." - and what a lucky dog.   One of the true regrets of my life is not getting my grandmother to teach me how to make cornbread.  Like your granddad there was no recipe and I am sure even if there were it would not have been able to capture the true essence of my grandmother's touch and feel for preparing her fried cornbread cake.

Again, thanks for the motivation you provided to lett me re-live such beautiful memories.

Ben

Ford's picture
Ford

You are most welcome. My grandparents served their corn cakes with white Karo syrup and "puddin". Puddin was made from hog liver, cornmeal, and I don't want to know what else. It was kept in a stoneware crock, covered with a layer of lard, and stored in the cellar, unrefrigerated. I just used butter and the Karo on my cakes, but I do have fond memories of them.

Ford

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

My grandfather was born in 1899 and thus was in his early 30s when the depression struct with an immediate family of four young children.  My Mom use to say they did not have it nearly as rough as a lot of folks - they moved to the country where most of the people around were direct relatives - aunts, uncles, cousins and the like.  They grew, or raised, most of what they ate - people back then shared any excess with friends and family and canned a lot of stuff. 

One of their favorite meals from that time that they would share with me was cornbread and sweet milk - sometimes it was buttermilk.  You would crumble cornbread in a drinking glass and then cover it with milk and then stir it with a spoon and eat it - a poor man's cereal I guess.  They said during the Depression that was a good meal.  I suppose it was kind of a "rememberance" meal for them to recount that time and a way for them to share the their memories with me and my other cousins.   I still have that meal sometimes, but it is never the same as when I was a child it my grandmother's kitchen at the table with them. 

Ben

 

jlewis30's picture
jlewis30

When I was a child my grandmother would make cornbread with canned cream corn in it and fry it in to fritters, it was the most delicious thing in the world.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

my mother made cornbread, and cornmeal pancakes, and scrapple with cornmeal. Sometimes even cornmeal mush. I am not a huge fan of cornmeal, its too gritty for my tastes, but I loved scrapple, which she made by boiling up a hambone and taking out the bones and then adding the cornmeal into the pot (rolling boil on the stock and bits of meat) until you couldn't get anymore cornmeal into the pot and stir! (direct quote from her on how to make it) then cook it for a minute or two, turn the burner off and let it sit until cold, slice in the pot, pull the slices out and fry in bacon grease or if feeling rich butter! This was eaten for supper, lunch or breakfast and sometimes when the money was short all three!

Ford's picture
Ford

"I am not a huge fan of cornmeal, its too gritty for my tastes,...."

Not all corn meal is coarse ground perhaps you can find a fine grind to suit your tastes.  Also alowing the meal to sit for an hour in the liquid will help.

Ford

EvaB's picture
EvaB

unfortunately at the time all the cornmeal in town was coarse, I can get masa from one of the stores, and do, its actually better for you than cornmeal. Its been treated with lye or lime before grinding and makes it more avaialbe in the nutrients.

My mother made her own hominey and I loved it, the gritty thing is just a genetic inheritance from my grandfather, I tend to spit when gritty substances get in my mouth, coffee grounds in particular. I don't know hwere I got the problem with peanut butter in my mouth from, I simply cannot eat it on breads or by the spoonful, it makes me gag! Everyone else in the family would simply eat the peanut butter like it was going out of style, but I can't, I can eat peanuts, peanut based candy, and so forth, but peanut butter and other nut butters are really difficult for me to eat. I've tried almond butter, which tastes good, but the same thing, on bread in my mouth I start to gag.

Maybe its a past life thing, and I was choked to death with sticky stuff in my mouth! Who knows.

Ford's picture
Ford

Cornmeal is not the same as grits (aka hominy grits).  It is also not the same as masa,

However, "De gustibus non est disputandum."  A Latin maxim. meaning “There is no disputing about tastes.”

Ford

EvaB's picture
EvaB

all different things, but when you get into corn, its sort of a big sea of problems.

Did you know that the South's reliance on cornmeal and pork was one reason they lost the war between the states. The thought that I saw on TV was that the cornmeal being made from straight ground corn, was lacking in food value, due to enzymic action, the cornmeal made from corn that has been lye or lime treated (hominy in other words) has the enzyme destroyed and allows the food value in the corn to be assimilated.

Pork is lower in specific things as well, and in particular iron, which now we know causes iron deficient aneamia and makes one feel muzzy and less like working hard and I can believe war is hard work, you are on edge, walk miles and then fight, and a clear head and not being tired all the time would be good!