Warm Johnny Cakes with Wild Blackberries

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
1 hr 45 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
6 servings (plus additional honeysuckle butter)
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Honeysuckle Simple Syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups freshly picked honeysuckle flowers
  • Honeysuckle Butter:
  • 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped freshly picked honeysuckle flowers
  • Johnny Cakes:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 9 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 cups wild blackberries
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
Directions
  • For the honeysuckle simple syrup: Combine the sugar with 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the flowers in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the flowers. Let steep and cool to room temperature, then strain out the flowers. Refrigerate until using.

  • For the honeysuckle butter: Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the butter on low speed and add the pinch of salt. Once the butter is soft and malleable, slowly whip in 1 1/2 cups of the honeysuckle simple syrup. Once the syrup is combined, slowly add the flowers.

  • For the Johnny cakes: Combine the milk, honey and 3/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey is dissolved and the mixture registers 110 degrees F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the yeast, cover and let steep until the yeast begins to foam, about 15 minutes.

  • Combine the cornmeal and milk mixture in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, put the blackberries in a medium bowl and add 2 cups of the honeysuckle simple syrup. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 2 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest. Let the berries sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until foamy. With the machine running, add the sugar 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium and whisk until the egg whites form medium-stiff peaks. Set aside.

  • Once the batter has risen and soaked up most of the liquid, fold in one-third of the egg white mixture. Add a second third of the egg whites and fold until well incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful not to overmix or deflate the batter.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the batter to the skillet 2 rounded tablespoonfuls at a time to form cakes about the size of a silver dollar. Cook the cakes until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes each side. Transfer the cakes to a plate and keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter.

  • Arrange 3 cooked cakes on each of 6 dessert plates. Evenly divide the macerated blackberries and their juices over the cakes. Top each plate with 1/2 cup of the honeysuckle butter. Serve immediately.

  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.


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