Hoe cakes were originally made from a simple batter of cornmeal, water, and pork fat. They were a staple of poor southerners who cooked the cakes on their hoes over open fires while working in the fields. I've added a few ingredients and a lotta' love to make this a dessert worthy of your most important dinner guest.
1 recipe Chef Rick's Southern Hoe Cakes, recipe follows
1 recipe Chef Rick's Warm Central CoastBerry Compote
1 pint good quality vanilla ice cream (…you can make your own ice cream I suppose, you could probably make your own lawnmower, but they sell some really good ones at the store!)
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Make the berry compote. Keep warm or if cold, rewarm before serving. Cook 12 hoe cakes using 3 per portion. Place the 3 cakes on each of 4 large plates. Top the cakes with a quarter of the warm berry compote. Place a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of everything, garnish with a mint sprig and serve immediately. Maybe think about making a double batch because everyone is going to be asking for more!
Chef Rick's Southern Hoe Cakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons honey
2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying the cakes
Mix all of ingredients together, except for the frying oil, into a smooth batter. Heat the frying oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, using about 2 tablespoons per hoe cake, into the hot skillet. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula and then brown the other side. Remove each hoecake to a paper towel-lined plate. Keep finished hoe cakes in a warm oven until all are cooked. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Chef Rick's Warm Central Coast Berry Compote
This is one of my favorite desserts, with or without hoe cakes but always with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.This can be cooked with any ripen fruit: mangoes, papayas, figs, peaches, plums, cherries and of course all types of berries. If you use raspberries, throw them in only for the last few seconds of cooking or they'll vanish before your eyes!
¼ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed, and cut in half
1 cup blueberries, rinsed
1 cup blackberries, rinsed
4 tablespoons butter, cut into four pieces
Make a light sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar together in a 8-inch sauté pan stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and berries to the syrup and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan gently to coat the berries with the syrup. Add the butter and continue to cook, swirling the berries and butter around in the pan until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat.
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