A kiwi classic that appears at many high teas, barbeques or dinner parties is the corn fritter. In New Zealand, a corn fritter is a savoury pikelet – a basic pikelet recipe with the addition of fresh or frozen corn.
Pikelets are New Zealand’s (and Australia’s) take on the scone – tiny, barely sweet, flat pancakes topped with cream and jam and typically served at morning or afternoon tea time. It is the first thing many Kiwi kids learn to make, whipping together the simple batter, flipping them as bubbles appear and eating them hot off the griddle with a smear of butter.
I’ve yet to make traditional jam and cream pikelets for friends in Canada. However, the savoury version (aka corn fritters) served with salmon and creme fraiche have gone down quite a treat here. Although I have had to change the name from corn fritter to blini or corn pikelet as ‘fritter’ in Canada is associate with deep fried batter, not the sweet, light delights that these are. Excellent served as an appetizer or as finger food for a dinner party. I’ve been known to bring the batter over to BBQs to cook on the flat plate – which I quickly learnt doesn’t work in Canada – for some reason Canadian BBQs only have grills! How would you cook the onions at the sausage sizzles??
Recipe adapted from Edmonds Cookbook
The pikelet recipe used most commonly by New Zealanders involves self-raising flour – a low-gluten flour with the addition of a raising agent like baking powder. I’ve never looked for this flour in Canada but I imagine it is available, likely called ‘self-rising’ flour instead. I have adapted recipe below for those using standard flour.
1 cup standard plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup milk, approximately
1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn kernals
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
finely chopped spring onion
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk together egg, sugar and milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold through the corn, herbs and spring onion. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a hot, lightly greased pan. Turn pikelets over when bubbles start to burst on top surface. Cook second side until golden.
Serve topped with sour cream mixed with cilantro, salt and pepper with a roll of smoked salmon on top. Garnish with thinly sliced spring onions.