In the years that I’ve been food blogging I’ve found that being able to adapt, and quickly, is a skill much needed. I had an idea to make a wild berry syrup with the raspberries and mulberries we have growing around the property, but when I went to go collect them, they were shriveled up and dried out from the heat. Not to be discouraged, I decided on a strawberry basil combination instead and I’ll save that wild berry syrup idea for another recipe idea down the road!
The last minute switch ended up working out better than expected and I loved the two flavors together. The cornmeal pancakes have just a little bit of crunch with a hint of that classic cornbread flavor. Smothered in the sweet strawberry basil syrup with bits of fresh strawberries in every bite made for that perfect balance between sweet and savory.
(makes about a pint)
Strawberry Basil Syrup:
2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half (roughly one 16oz container)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water, divided
1 Tbs cornstarch
(makes 12 medium sized pancakes)
Cornmeal Pancakes (recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
1 cup of whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted + a stick of extra butter to use for cooking
Add strawberries to a medium sized saucepan and use a potato masher to mash them.
Add basil leaves, sugar, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small cup, dissolve cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup water. Stir into strawberry mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly. Use a fork to remove basil leaves and then transfer syrup into a glass canning jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Slowly pout into dry ingredients, stirring to fully mix. Fold in melted butter until everything is completely mixed.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once hot, add a bit of butter to grease the pan and pour 1/4 cup of batter out onto the pan. Cook for a few minutes or until the surface is covered with little bubbles. Flip it over and cook another minute or two or until a nice golden brown. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to the pan each time before you pour another one.
Add several spoonfuls of strawberry basil syrup to the tops of your stacks and serve!