JOHNNYCAKES (about 4 dozen)


This recipe was printed in the New York Times on March 17, 1878.

3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups cornmeal

butter and syrup or honey for serving

1.Mix the milk and the vinegar in a bowl and let it sit until it curdles, about 5 minutes.  Whisk the baking soda into the milk.

  1. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the milk mixture, butter, sugar and salt. Whisk in the cornmeal.  The batter will seem very loose, but it will thicken as it sits. Let it rest for 1 hour, whisking every 30 minutes.
  1. Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium high heat. (No, greasing is necessary.) Whisk the batter, fill a ¼ cup measure halfway with it, and gently drop the batter into the pan – it should sizzle and bubble and spread into a thin round cake.  Add more cakes to the pan, being careful not to crowd them, Cook until browned, 30 to 60 seconds, then flip (use your thinnest spatula) and brown on the other side.  Adjust the heat as you go so the cakes brown quickly without burning (the cornmeal sinks to the bottom of the batter, so you need to whisk the mixture every few minutes for your cakes to have the right mix of liquid and cornmeal.)
  1. Serve the cakes with butter and syrup as you cook them, or keep them warm on a platter in a 175* oven.


from Amanda Hesser, The Essential New York Times Cookbook

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