In the summertime, when the corn is in season and every grocery store worth its salt not only has mountains of ears but a trash can set next to the corn for shucking right there in the store (love that!), the corn kernels don’t need to be cooked at all not one bit. They can be cut off the cob and eaten raw with a bit of salt and a pat of butter, tossed into salads—or made into these fresh savory gluten free corn cakes. You can whip up these little cakes in mere minutes, and they’re a great side dish or even a lovely breakfast-for-dinner sort of situation with a fried egg on top.
When corn isn’t in season, try making them with frozen corn kernels. Don’t defrost the kernels, though, or they’ll become too wet. If you fold them into the batter when they’re still frozen, the extra moisture evaporates during cooking rather than making the corn cakes soggy. It works!
I know it can be a wee bit of a pain to separate the eggs and whip the whites before folding them into the batter, but it only takes a moment and really does give the corn cakes a really nice lightness and fluffiness.
Everyone in my family loves corn, but I rarely serve corn on the cob because the manner in which my husband eats it (like a typewriter!) makes me inexplicably furious. These fresh savory gluten free corn cakes are a great way to highlight the freshest corn of the year—without doing anything I’ll live to regret to my poor husband.
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh scallions
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs (100 g) at room temperature, separated
2 cups (300 g) fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears of fresh shucked corn)*
3 to 5 tablespoons (42 g to 70 g) ghee or virgin coconut oil, for frying
Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving
*When corn is not in season, use an equal amount of frozen corn but do not defrost before folding it into the batter and cooking.
Line a baking sheet or a few large plates with paper towels and set aside. Place a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.If you do not have a cast iron skillet, heat a nonstick skillet only over medium heat, and wait until the batter is ready to fry before heating the skillet.
In a large bowl, place the cornmeal, all purpose flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chili powder and cumin, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped scallions, and mix to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, butter and egg yolks, mixing after each addition until just combined. Place the egg white in a separate, medium-size bowl and beat with a handheld mixer until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold the whipped egg whites gently into the cornmeal batter in two or three parts. Add the corn kernels and mix carefully just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the ghee or virgin coconut oil in the hot cast iron skillet and turn the skillet to coat the entire surface with the fat as it melts. Place the batter in mounds of about 1/4 cup each in the hot skillet, spaced about 1 inch apart from one another, taking care not to crowd the skillet. Allow to cook until bubbles begin to break through the surface and the corn cake is golden brown on the underside (about 3 minutes). Carefully flip over the corn cakes with a flat spatula and continue to cook until the other side is golden brown (another 1 to 2 minutes). Remove from the pan to the paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate, and repeat with the remaining batter, adding at least 1 more tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil with each batch.
Serve immediately with sour cream and chopped cilantro, or place on a lined baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F oven until all of the cakes are ready to serve.
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