A satisfying alternative to old school pancakes. These silky little cakes were inspired by a recipe in Food and Wine Magazine for Cornmeal Pancakes–the brainchild of chefs Daniel Patterson and René Redzepi. The cornmeal lends a subtle crunch to the creamy but cake-like centers. The slight tartness of the blueberries keeps the dish from being overly sweet. —Bob Vivant
12, 4 to 5-inch pancakes
BLUEBERRY THYME SYRUP
maple syrup (Spoil yourself and use the good stuff if you can.)
Put the syrup, blueberries, and thyme springs, if using, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while you make the pancakes. Remove the thyme sprigs just before serving.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cornmeal and cold water. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer over medium heat until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat together milk, egg, honey, and vanilla. Add to the polenta.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center and stir in the polenta custard.
Heat a large griddle and brush it with butter.
Ladle enough batter onto the griddle for 4-inch cakes. If the batter is too thick to spread on its own, add a bit more milk. Cook the pancakes over moderate heat until bubbles appear on the surface and the top of the pancake looks dry. Flip the pancakes and cook until puffy and browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to warm plates and repeat with remaining batter. Serve with warm blueberry syrup.