>I was looking for a casual and easy appetizer to serve this week for Rosh Hashannah dinner, beyond the traditional sliced apples and honey. I ended up making these corn cakes with applesauce, literally pan frying them up as my guests walked in the door. They were everything an appetizer should be: easy, yummy, and fun. I’ll definitely be playing around with these little corn cakes with different toppings like shrimp and creamy mushrooms.
I had never made corn cakes before, and I found the inspiration to use the farmer’s market corn cobs in a very different way in a fairly unexpected magazine: the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
I don’t generally read the New York Times Magazine for the recipes, but this week, one caught my eye: the Corn Cakes with Caviar from the 1985 article by Craig Claiborne. The decadent recipe from the Reaganomics era was reinvented as an homage to local comfort food by Mark Fuller, a Seattle Chef as a corn pudding topped with shrimp. I decided to reinvent it (again) as a comfort food appetizer with twice sweet honey and maple syrup apple sauce.
Twice-Sweetened Apple Sauce (I made this very sweet because of Rosh Hashanah – you may want to cut back on the honey and maple syrup)
6 apples, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cups of water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup of maple syrup
- Put the apples in a medium stock pot with the water, honey, and maple syrup.
- Cook on medium heat until the apples are soft.
- Mash the apples with a potato masher. Or, if you prefer it smoother, in a food processor.
- Return the applesauce to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes to round out the flavors.
- Chill and serve. This will also freeze very well.
Corn Cakes (adapted from the New York Times 1985 Corncakes with caviar Craig Claiborne Recipe)
Ingredients:3-4 ears of fresh corn
1?3 cup whole milk
1?3 cup flour
1?4 cup melted salted butter
1?3 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 yolk from a large egg
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
- Cut the corn kernels from the cobs, enough to produce 2 cups. Put the kernels in a food processor and add 2 tablespoons milk. Blend until a little of the texture is left. There should be about 1 1/4 cups.
- Put the corn in a mixing bowl and add the remaining milk, the flour, 1/4 cup melted butter and the cornmeal, stirring to blend well.
- Add the eggs, egg yolk, salt and pepper and blend thoroughly.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter at a time into the skillet without letting the cakes touch. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve hot topped with a dollop of sour cream and apple sauce, or better yet, let your guests serve themselves, choosing how generous they want to be with the sour cream!