• September 25, 2013

    Skillet Cornbread with Honey-Butter Glaze

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    I love how in this photo, the cornbread looks like a sun, the parchment ruffle its rays. As fall rainclouds settle in around Vancouver, I start to see suns everywhere…

    It’s beautiful and sunny today, however, and I’m stuck inside on my rocking chair, enjoying it as best I can from beneath my favourite quilt, with a box of kleenex and a steaming mug of tea.

    Why, September? Why must your lovely crisp days bring along the sniffles?

    The drop in temperature and subsequent head cold flipped my internal cooking switch from fresh-salads-and-brightly-flavoured-grilled-dinners mode into simmering-braising-roasting mode. Yay, soup season!

    This cornbread was served alongside roasted-all-day, fall-off-the-bone sticky, spicy ribs.

    It’s crumbly texture is perfect for sopping up the flavourful sauce, and the honey’s sweetness is a perfect foil to the heat imparted by long-simmered chipotle peppers.

    I like my cornbread studded with fresh kernels that pop between your teeth. I also like it finished with a glaze once it’s cool, to add a layer of flavour and extra sweetness, as well as to make it more moist.

    I used a 12″ cast iron skillet to bake mine, and it was quite thin. I would use a 10″ pan if I had one. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet at all, go ahead and bake it in a square baking pan. Just keep in mind that the thicker the bread, the more time it will take to bake – so if you use a 8×8″ baking dish or a smaller skillet, the batter will be deeper and you’ll need a few more minutes in the oven. It’ll be as bouncy in the middle as it is on the sides when it’s done.

    Leftovers were smothered in jam for breakfast the next day. Yum yum.

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in 1/2″ pieces
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup corn kernels (thawed, if using frozen)

    For glaze

    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • pinch of salt

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cast iron skillet (or 8×8″ square baking pan) with parchment paper; set aside.

    2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cornmeal. Use a pastry blender or your fingers (working quickly so it doesn’t melt) to work the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are no bigger than lentils.

    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, honey and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture, along with corn kernels, and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined.

    4. Dump mixture into the prepared skillet, using the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the middle feels springy when lightly pressed (baking time will vary if you use a different size pan). Let the cornbread cool in the skillet set on top of a cooling rack.

    For glaze:

    1. In a small microwaveable dish, combine butter, honey and pinch of salt. Microwave about 30 seconds, or until butter is melted. Use a toothpick or a fork to poke holes all over surface of cornbread. Stir glaze, then use a pastry brush (or spoon) to spread evenly overtop. You can glaze and serve the cornbread when still warm, or wait until cooled.

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