Acceptable alternate spellings for “oaten” include “oat ‘n’…” (that’s for my dad).

I’ve mentioned my obsession with oat cakes before. So nourishing. So imaginary. As I sat in a focus group today, earning cash as I dreamed away about things to eat when I was released, I fell upon these pancakes, which I respect so well that I can offer no emendations to the recipe. Really, they’re perfect.

But if, in the middle of summer, you find yourself with an extra cob of corn (or some frozen kernels in the freezer, which is pretty much a perpetual state with me), you should make these. I feel strongly about these pancakes because they are based on a a masterful pancake recipe–the thinner, chewy kind rather than the dense cakey ones–and include corn. We loves corn. But I feel even more strongly about the scented honey. This is the first day it occurred to me to throw stuff into warm honey.

The result is this totally sophisticated syrup that you made by zapping some honey in the microwave and dumping in a few pinches of sweet aromatics. And it turns humble corn cakes into the neatest thing you could possible make for brunch. Or, if you’re me, dinner. Maybe you can imagine making them without sugar, a chopped scallion thrown in and a quarter cup of grated cheddar, some smoked salmon draped on top once the cakes are fried and crispy. I don’t know how to make blinis so this seems like a pretty sweet deal.

Oaten Corn Cakes with Vanilla-Ginger Scented Honey
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes 20 3-inch pancakes

For reference, I just ate 8. Plan accordingly. The original recipe is twice as big, and you should double my recipe if you’re cooking for more than 1 or 2 people.

Also note: the batter needs to stand a bit (even overnight if you’ve got it) before you can make the cakes!

1 C rolled oats
1/4 C AP flour
3/4 C corn kernels (frozen or fresh), divided
1 T sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 C water
1 egg
2 T melted butter, plus more for brushing the skillet
1/2 t vanilla extract

Scented Honey (may make a little extra–please, just put it in your tea and report back)
1 C delicious honey
1/4 t fresh grated ginger
the scrapings of 1 vanilla pod

For the pancakes, whisk together the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Puree together the 1 C water with 1/4 C of the corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn water with the yogurt, egg, butter, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together with a big spoon. Let batter stand an hour to thicken a bit (the oats absorb liquid in a very pleasing way).

In a small saucepan, heat up the honey over low heat. Add the ginger and vanilla goo and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Stick a plate into an oven preheated to 250. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and brush with melted butter. (I like a medium skillet because it heats evenly on my stove and forces me to make cute small pancakes.) With a big serving spoon, ladle batter into the skillet (each pancake will require about 2T or so and you’ll make 4 per batch). Cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles form on top, around 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or two. Transfer the pancakes to the plate in the oven and keep going until you have no batter left, brushing the skillet with butter between batches.

Reheat the honey if it’s gotten too sticky for drizzling. Serve the pancakes with a nice spoonful or two of honey (they need less sweetener than other pancakes, and I say this as a honey/maple syrup guzzler).