Last week I blogged about Southern cornbread. Just to compare and to explain why we in the North call it Southern cornbread, I thought I would make Johnny Cake. We made this once in awhile when I was a child and would serve it with corn syrup. Maple syrup was way too expensive and difficult to find in those days. But also, check out the recipe. We add sugar! And a lot more flour.
Nowadays we would add things like crushed dried red chilies, bacon bits, grated cheddar, corn kernels, diced red and green pepper and serve it more as a savoury than a sweet. We would try to make it our version of Tex-Mex. The pan is not preheated and we usually make it in a square cake pan rather than a cast-iron skillet. This is more cake-like.
Johnny Cake probably evolved from the term Journey Cake. Corn is a New World grain and when the settlers arrived they were shown how to make this by the Atlantic coast aboriginal peoples all the way from Newfoundland down to Jamaica. It was easy to make when they were on the road. (courtesy Wikapedia)
But I have to say, I still like this sweetened version! I would only have it for breakfast or as a simple sweet after lunch.
Johnny Cake with Maple Syrup
- 1 1/4 cups sifted pastry flour (I used all purpose)
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 1/3 cup melted fat (we usually use butter)
- 2 eggs , well beaten
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the combined liquids. Do not beat. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8-inch pan and bake at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm in squares with butter and maple syrup. I only had a 9 x 9 pan so mine are a little flat.