Several months ago I jumped onboard the cast iron craze and bought a 10″ skillet that I found at a thrift store. I absolutely love it, and my fear of keeping it seasoned was for nothing. It’s quite easy, really. After washing, all one has to do is rub a bit of vegetable oil over the surface, then place on the stove using a medium/high flame, letting it dry for 1 minute.
So now that I have this fabulous skillet, I was looking forward to making cornbread in it. As expected, the cast iron produced a perfect cornbread with a nice crisp bottom, side, and top, with a delicate center.
Of course, a good recipe is essential. Not all cornbread recipes are created equal – I’ve found the results often disappointing – dry and gritty. As a fan of America’s Test Kitchen, I eagerly attempted (and tweaked) their recipe. YUMMY!
- 2 T white vinegar
- 3/4 + 2 T milk (I use nonfat)
- OR 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/3 cups medium grind cornmeal
- 3 ears corn (about 1¾ cups nibblets)
- 6 T butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 yolk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 T sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1¼ tsp salt
Make buttermilk (unless you’re using store bought buttermilk) by combining vinegar and milk. Stir in the cornmeal to soften it. Let stand while preparing the cornbread.
Remove corn from cobs by running a knife downwards and away from you along the cob. NOTE: You can use frozen or canned, if you’d rather.
Purée corn in a food processor for about 1 minute, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides. Pour into a saucepan and, stirring often, cook over medium heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup – about 8-10 minutes. It will become quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in 5 T butter.
Preheat oven to 400º Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and yolk. Stir the eggs and buttermilk/cornmeal into the thickened corn.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the corn mixture, blending gently until dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet. (Over mixing can lead to a tough bread.)
Heat remaining 1 T butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet. When skillet is hot, turn off stove and pour in cornmeal dough, smoothing top. Bake in preheated oven at 400º F for 25 minutes, until top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Let cool 20 minutes on rack before slicing. (If you slice it too soon, it will fall apart.)