Not at all an English breakfast dish, my daughter has a recipe for Johnny Cakes sourced from one of her Felicity American Girl books. (Felicity is a ‘spunky’ 9 year old growing up in Williamsburg circa 1774.) Today we whipped up these breakfast cakes and served them with applesauce, and I present them here for your would-be Colonial American delectation.
1 C water
2 T butter
1 C cornmeal (we added 2 T flour as well)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar (we increased to 1 t)
1/2 t sugar
1/2 C milk
Heat water and butter in saucepan until they boil. (Or add boiling water from the kettle, if you aren’t doing this Felicity-style.) Put dry ingredients in a bowl, then pour boiling ingredients over. Pour in milk and stir until well mixed. Grease skillet and drop batter by spoonfuls over medium-low heat. Let cook until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes per side).
We found that without the extra flour, the batter was a bit watery and the cakes came out very crispy. A bit of flour turned them softer and they cooked up a bit easier. This is what the batter looks like with a bit of flour added in.
Lay them out on a pretty plate and serve them up! They don’t taste like pancakes, so don’t make the mistake of calling them “colonial pancakes” — your kids will have misguided expectations and make funny faces at you. Expect more of a corn muffin flavor, serve with applesauce or powdered sugar and jam, and enjoy.
(Like this recipe? It’s adapted from Felicity’s Cooking Studio.)