Comfort Food

Recipe: Nana’s No-Fail Cornbread

To help you master this Southern staple, our dining editor spills her great-grandmother’s secrets.

By Katharine Shilcutt February 15, 2015 Published in the February 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Cornbread with purple hull peas and frog legs.

The secrets: A scorching hot skillet, buttermilk, and no flour.

Recipe:

  • 2 c. stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. creamed corn
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a seasoned 12-inch cast-iron skillet into oven while it heats. (You can also use a large, 6-muffin tin for easy individual servings, each cup greased with oil and filled to the top with batter.)

In one bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, and creamed corn. Stir until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Remove cast-iron skillet from the oven. Carefully add vegetable oil to cast-iron skillet and then pour batter into skillet. Bake until cornbread is golden-brown and springs back upon the touch, about 25 minutes. If serving for dessert, top hot, split slices of cornbread with butter and sorghum molasses or honey. 

Serves 4 to 8.

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