Delicious Cornbread

Posted on Sun 26 July 2020 in Food

I remember celebrating Christmas with family in New Mexico when I was a kid. I was fairly young, but I think it must have been at the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. One of the most delicious treats I recall from the Feast was real Mexican cornbread.

Now, every few years I'll head into Gilmours and yoink a three-kilo bag of cornmeal. I don't make this often, but we do all love it, and one batch usually makes enough for multiple households.

A cast-iron skillet, hot from the oven, cradling a golden-brown cornbread.
It really comes out this beautiful every time.

I always cook this in a cast-iron skillet, because it allows me to fry off the butter a bit first - this adds a nice roasty nutty flavour.

Ingredients

Delicious fat

  • 120g (half a cup) of butter

Dry ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cornmeal
  • 1.5 cups other flour (mix & match anything to add up to 1.5c; just avoid self-raising)
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar

The 'other flour' component is super flexible - as long as it's dry dust, it hardly seems to matter what you use. Rice flour could make this gluten free, or wholemeal to make it gut-friendly, or tapoica flour if you just ... need to use up some random tapioca flour you bought over lockdown for some reason.

In fact, the cornbread in the oven right now has some psyllium husk, to try and keep the moisture locked in. (Update: the psyllium was awesome! Substituted 1Tbsp for random flour.)

Wet ingredients

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups milk, room temperature

Method

  1. You forgot to warm up your eggs and milk, so pop your milk into the microwave for a minute, and stick the eggs in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Turn your oven to 180°C, then pop the butter in your skillet and get it melting over low heat.
  3. Mix your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In different (larger) mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, folding gently. Now you can just dust the flour out of that bowl and put it away! (Life haxx)
  5. Your butter should be a nice nutty brown by now; carefully pour it into your batter - keep just a tiny bit in the pan for non-stickness.
  6. Give everything a gentle stir, and pour the batter into the skillet.
  7. Into the oven it goes! Cook until a toothpick comes out clean, approx 20~30 minutes.
Steaming-hot, soft cornbread, slumbering contentedly on a chopping board.  A lazy dollop of butter melts upon the brown crust.  In the distance, trumpets.
Yum.

Credit: The recipe above is almost entirely from https://cookieandkate.com/honey-butter-cornbread-recipe/, however I've made a few small tweaks.