Nov 14, 2012

Cornbread Cook-off!

There are two camps when it comes to cornbread: those who like it sweet, and those who prefer it unsweetened. I was raised in the sweet cornbread camp, but honestly, I like them both. If I had to choose, I'd probably choose the sweet (or I might just ask for a slice of both!). 

There has been a cornbread recipe circulating around the internet and on Pinterest called "Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread." It's from allrecipes.com (see the recipe here), and is described as "Grandma's recipe for a sweet, moist cornbread, likely to become your favorite." I was intrigued. This recipe had two of my favorite food words, sweet and moist, and I love to bake with buttermilk. I decided I needed to try this recipe.

I thought as long as I was making cornbread, I should make a batch of my mother's cornbread, too. Kind of compare the two. See if that new recipe really would become my favorite. 

So here's how they stacked up:

These are both sweet cornbreads, with "Grandmother's" being quite a bit sweeter.

Grandmother's cornbread was delicious. It really was sweet and moist, just like the recipe promised. It was cake-like in taste and texture. That's what the buttermilk will do for you- makes it moist and gives it a finer texture. Some of the moistness of this cornbread also comes from the full stick of butter called for in the recipe. :)


The texture does look a little like cake, doesn't it?

Mmmm...butter on hot cornbread...

My mother's cornbread recipe isn't as sweet, but it's definitely still sweet cornbread. It's a little coarser, or heartier textured, you might say. More like you might expect cornbread to be. It's tender and flavorful. I do love this cornbread.

There's a little more texture to this one

I'll tell you how to get this nice, crispy crust in a minute...

My taste testers and I were split pretty evenly on which of these recipes we preferred. They're both very good. We finally decided that it would depend on what you were serving with the cornbread. A sweeter dish, such as baked beans or a sweeter BBQ might be balanced out with my mother's cornbread, while a more savory meal, such as ham and beans, might be good with the sweetness of Grandmother's recipe. 

Either way, I hope you enjoy some good cornbread soon.
Mother's Cornbread

Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup evaporated (canned) milk, or regular milk
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You'll need an 8" or 9" baking pan. I used a 9" iron skillet. Slice off about a half of tablespoon of the butter called for in the recipe, put it in the pan, and put the pan in the oven while the oven preheats. 

2. Place the remaining butter in a medium bowl and microwave for a few seconds until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool a little. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until well blended.

3. In a 2 cup measuring cup, pour one cup of milk. Add the egg to the milk and whisk lightly until blended. Make sure the butter has cooled off (you don't want it to scramble the egg), and pour slowly into the milk mixture while whisking. 

4. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until completely combined. Your oven and pan should be heated by now. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and swirl the pan to evenly distribute the melted butter. Immediately pour the batter into the pan. The batter will start to fry just a little when it hits the hot pan- that's where the crisp crust comes from. :) Pop it right back into the oven, and bake for about 20  to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the middle. I turn my pan about half way through cooking time so that the cornbread browns evenly.

                                      Good homemade cornbread doesn't last long!




5 comments:

  1. I like the cake-like texture for 'regular' meals, and the 'heartier' texture for warm suppers on cold, cold evenings!

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  2. Thank you for coming back by, Emily! Yes, the comment section seems to be working better now! :)

    Mary, I like the way you think! ;) Thanks for your comment!

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