Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberries:
Special for Shrove Tuesday Supper

A simple recipe for cornmeal pancakes with a blueberry compote and my favorite “syrup” with the combination of cornmeal and blueberries, sour cream. Will Shrove Tuesday's supper be pancakes at your house, too?

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Compote & Sour Cream
To every thing (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.
- From Ecclesiastes,
music by Pete Seeger.

It was Judy Collins who introduced me to the seasons. Over and over, I played that 45 record. Winter-spring-summer-fall, all you have to do is call. (Oh wait. That’s Carole King.)

For as long as I can remember, if it's the Tuesday before Lent, the supper menu is the same, year after year. Making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is an old Christian tradition, a last gluttonous meal before the self-denial of Lent. It fits a modern-day sensibility, even if our lives are now so rich that the egg and butter and flour and sugar in pancakes are no long worthy of Lenten fasting. Really, when was the last time you heard, "I'm giving up eggs for Lent"?

So tomorrow, it will be pancakes for supper and then on Ash Wednesday, I'll plant Lenten Grass, an old Finnish tradition especially good for helping children observe Lent.

Tis the season.

I’ve been experimenting with pancakes made with cornmeal and am happy to find one that’s substantial but not heavy, earthy but not gritty, in short, simple and superb.

ALANNA’s TIPS I love the “idea” of blue cornmeal with blueberry pancakes but it’s not as pretty as you’d think, the “blue” cornmeal turns the pancakes a dull grey. So usually I choose a finely ground cornmeal. Plain ol’ supermarket yellow cornmeal works just find too though I do like to add a half teaspoon of vanilla to the batter. I’ve learned the hard way that coarsely ground cornmeal and grits need a much longer cooking time than finely ground cornmeal and grits. Do be sure to use finely ground cornmeal for these pancakes. Still-frozen blueberries work better than thawed blueberries. If the berries are already thawed, just be sure to drain them really well. I love-love-love my electric griddle for pancakes, a great $35 investment. There's no need for any fat on the surface, the cooking is so even, six pancakes can be cooked at once.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite pancake recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes to mix
Time to table: 15 - 30 minutes
Makes 10 4-1/2 inch pancakes
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of a lime
  • 1 cup (160g) finely-ground stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup (66g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 cups skim milk
  • For the skillet, vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries for the pancakes themselves, optional (see TIPS)
  • To serve, sour cream (my favorite with blueberry pancakes) or maple syrup

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE Combine the blueberries, sugar and lime zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer until the juices thicken slightly.

CORNMEAL PANCAKES In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal and other dry ingredients. Separately, whisk the egg and oil together, then whisk in the milk. Stir the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients (the batter will be thinner than typical pancake batter).

Heat a large, heavy skillet or a pancake griddle on medium heat, when hot, brush with a little oil or bacon grease.

Pour a quarter cup of batter onto the skillet and if you like, sprinkle with frozen blueberries. Without moving, let the pancakes cook until the edges begin to firm up and a few air bubbles appear on the top, just a minute or two. Flip over with a spatula and cook another minute or two until cooked through but not dry. Best hot from the skillet, serve and savor!

Save any leftover batter, it can be used for another day or two although the pancakes will be quite flat since the baking powder action will be finished.

Pancakes Only, Per Pancake without/with blueberries: 95/99 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 21mg Cholesterol; 35mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 1g Fiber; 2g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 2/3 (yes, with rounding, just a few blueberries puts the PointsPlus over the edge to 3 points)
Pancakes & Blueberry Compote, Per Pancake + Compote: 117 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 21mg Cholesterol; 35mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 2g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 3
Adapted from the bag of wonderful blue cornmeal purchased from War Eagle Mill in Rogers, Arkansas. Simple and superb!

TIS THE SEASON: This Week, Years Past

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(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Savory Cornbread Muffins Skillet Cornbread Seared Scallops with Chimichurri and Garlicky Polenta

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Charlie3/07/2011

    I'm headed to the new Local Harvest for stone ground fine blue cornmeal so Jan and I can have your traditional Shrove Tuesday dinner. I'll try sour cream, but expect to prefer the maple syrup I just made!

  2. I love corn in so many forms - tacos, tortillas, popcorn, corn on the cob, but I don't use cornmeal enough in my cooking. Thanks for this great roundup. These pancakes and some of the other corn recipes looks AWESOME.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna