As a kid, some family friend showed me how she scatters a tiny pinch of sugar over tomato slices before she eats them. I thought it was the weirdest thing, but tried it when I got home. And of course it was delicious, because what wouldn’t be delicious with sugar sprinkled on top? (Bacon: delicious. Sauerkraut? Apparently good. Bagels? I rest my case.)
I haven’t sugar-sprinkled tomatoes in years, but when I saw the vibrant, taut-skinned, vine-ripened tomatoes nearly bursting out of their tender, deep red skins, I wanted nothing more than to bite into a whole one right then and there. Raw. Maybe covered in a thin layer of quickly-moistening, glistening sugar. I bit the bullet of a price tag and paid the exorbitant amount to call them mine.
And promptly got home and ate half of one fresh and raw, juices dripping down my face like a peach. Then I fried the other half. On top of pancakes.
Sacrilege! But then sugar was sprinkled on top and friend? Let me tell you: these are magnificent summer pancakes. You can spare half of a lusciously fresh tomato to make these because this corn and tomato combination is a little mind-blowing. Maybe because you might suspect the combination would suggest otherwise. But these are based off of a masterful cornbread waffle recipe, so you can expect success.
They’re dense, moist yet a little crumbly, and jam-packed with gritty corn flavor. The corn pancakes, which would be exciting enough with little pops of corn kernels in every bite, take on a new personality with a slice of ripe tomato encased in fried golden batter. They’re like the summer version of these upside-down apple pancakes. Or a vegan and gluten-free version of these cornbread pancakes. These can hardly be called sweet, which leaves much freedom for sugar-sprinkling on top.
You know you want to.
Sweet Corn & Tomato Pancakes
- ¾ cup almond milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar can sub distilled white vinegar
- 6 tablespoons masa harina
- 6 tablespoons cornmeal
- 6 tablespoons oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or any other fat
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 medium tomato sliced thinly width-wise
- Combine the milk and vinegar and let sit while you combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk the oil and honey into the milk mixture and then pour the wet mixture into dry. Stir until just combined—lumps are good. Fold in the corn. Let sit for 10 minutes, undisturbed, until mixture is thickened and sludgy.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s too hot to touch, lightly grease the pan with a spritz of oil and drop quarter cups of batter into the pan (don’t overcrowd the pan). Let cook about two minutes. Once the top of the pancakes begin to look dry, press a slice of tomato into the pancake, pressing down so that batter squishes up around/through the tomato. Carefully flip (making sure the surface you flip the pancake on is well-greased) and cook for another two minutes, or until cooked through.
- Serve with a sprinkle of sugar, honey. Cheese? Maybe people do that.