Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Best Cornbread In The World

It wasn't until I moved to the South that I realized what a divisive subject cornbread is.

Here, it is baked in a cast iron skillet.  The crumb of the bread is more coarse than I am used to, it is slightly more dry in texture, and it is far less sweet.

Not to say that there is anything wrong with that!  It's fantastic with soup beans or chili, since that dry crumb really stands up to pretty much any broth.

It's just not what I grew up with.
I've made several varieties of cornbread over the years, but the one recipe I keep returning to is my mother's.

EVERYONE loves it.  It's a little addictive...though it wasn't until I grew up and started making it myself that I realized why.

There is literally more sugar than cornmeal in her cornbread.

Seriously.  I laughed out loud the first time I followed that recipe!

Nonetheless, it's good stuff.  Sweet, warm, cornbread-y goodness.

Well...kind of cornCAKEY goodness.
Though I generally stick to her recipe, I occasionally branch out and give a new recipe a try.

And...sorry Mom...I do believe this one is a keeper.  My new "go to."  It's just sooo good!

It really straddles the line between a Northern (ok, I'm from California, not so Northern...) and a Southern bread.

It's sweet, but not too sweet.

It's moist, but not too moist.

It has a slightly smaller crumb than the Southern-style I've grown accustomed to over the past (gulp) 12 years, but it's not cakey.

It.  Is.  Delicious!  The only changes I made were pre-heating the skillet along with the oven after greasing it and increasing the cook time a little.

The author of this recipe seems to imply, via both the recipe's name and by saying that it will take you to, "a magical kingdom of flavor," that this is a copycat of a Disney® recipe.

I don't know.  I've visited Disneyland about 5 billion times in my life, but it's been awhile and I can't honestly say that I've ever had cornbread while there- churros and Fantasia ice cream, sure.

BTW...that Fantasia ice cream needs to come back!

Anyway, I digress.  I have not only not had cornbread at Disneyland but I've never actually been to Disney World, so I have zilch to compare this to.

I just know it's good.  Really good.

Like, I'll-probably-never-try-another-cornbread-recipe-again good.

So.  Amazingly.  Good.
Try it.  That is all.  :-)

2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cups milk

1. Grease an 8" cast iron skillet heavily and place in oven.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). 

2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, salt, butter and vanilla until creamy. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and cornmeal. 
3. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with the milk. Beat well until blended.

4. Pour batter into hot skillet.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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