When I first saw this recipe for Smoky Mountain Griddle Cakes, I knew I had to make them. Not because they are gluten free, but because, well their pancakes, and who doesn’t love a good pancake? They are the perfect vehicle for copious amounts of melted butter and golden pools of maple syrup. Also, the name caught my attention, Smoky Mountain Griddle Cakes, somehow even the name transports me on some kind of mental vacation. I would imagine it's because the place where the recipe originated is the Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. The Blackberry Farm is a top rated small inn and premier farm-to-table restaurant. It is a place where luxury and nature have been woven together in a perfect union. I have never been to the Blackberry Farm or Tennessee for that matter. But nonetheless it is a place that is on my bucket list for sure. I first heard about Blackberry Farm back in 2009 when they came out with their first cookbook. I poured over that book, cooked through that book, and all the while dreamed about visiting that beautiful place someday.
Picture a place nestled in the blue mists of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. A nine-thousand acre pastoral refuge where white rail fences follow rolling hills and frame pastures that house Friesian sheep that supply the milk for the cheese that is made in the farms creamery. There are laying hens, chickens, beef cattle as well as a passel of Tamworth hogs that provide more than enough pork to keep the farms salumeria stocked with many assortments of ham, sausages and smoked slabs of pork to please any bacon lover. An extensive heirloom garden that supplies nearly seventy percent of the produce served in the two restaurants on the property. The Blackberry Farm has even successfully cultivated Black Perigord truffles. A significant accomplishment because until recently, truffles were mostly found (and heavily guarded) in certain regions of France and Italy. I could go on.
Now back to the pancakes.
The Blackberry Farm make these griddle cakes with buckwheat, corn and oat flours. These hearty grains lend a nutty flavor and yield a gluten-free breakfast option. The assortment of flours can be found in natural foods and specialty foods stores and some supermarkets. To fast track the recipe, triple all of the dry ingredients and store them in a jar. At breakfast time scoop out 2 ¼ cups. All the other measurements stay the same.
Since traveling to Tennessee is not in my immediate plans I guess I will go for the pancakes! -s
Smoky Mountain Griddle Cakes
1 large egg
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (use a very fine milled one)
1/3 cup brown rice flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for the skillet
Whisk egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk oat flour, cornmeal, rice flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then whisk in butter until no lumps remain. If batter is too thick to pour nicely, add a little milk too thin slightly. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat; lightly brush with oil. Working in batches, pour batter by ¼ cupful into skillet. Cook until bottoms are browned and bubbles form on top of griddle cakes, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until griddle cakes are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.