Breakfast of Champions

Fresh Fig Cornbread

By • September 5, 2013 • 28 Comments

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Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: Is it toast for breakfast? Cake for breakfast? Emily shares why cornbread is the perfect morning food.

Fresh Fig Cornbread from Food52

I’ve always felt like cornbread makes an even better breakfast than it does a dinner side.  Something about the way it takes as well to an egg or a smudge of soft cheese -- as it does to honey or jam -- just says breakfast to me.  

I know passions run high about what makes for legitimate cornbread, and I don’t claim to know what’s right. In fact, call me undiscerning, but I like cornbread in most every variation, if it’s breakfast time. Depending on your recipe, cornbread can be more savory or more sweet. It straddles the border between toast for breakfast and cake for breakfast, which is not at all a bad liminal space to be in. When I take it ever so slightly in the cake for breakfast direction, I also like to fold fruit into my cornbread. It makes me feel more justified when I want to eat two slices.  

This was originally going to be a blueberry-studded cornbread, but then I found fresh figs. Fig season feels so fleeting, especially here where figs don’t grow and good fresh figs rarely make an appearance. I snatched them up and scattered them atop the cornbread to bake into figgy, jammy jewels. I thought they were perfect with the tender, nubbly crumb of the cornbread. Add a dollop of ricotta, and that’s a breakfast.

Fresh Fig Cornbread from Food52

Fresh Fig Cornbread

Makes one 9-inch bread

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, barely softened and cut into chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
8 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and halved

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

Tags: breakfast, cornbread, bread, figs, everyday cooking

Comments (28)

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Stringio

7 months ago Stephanie Schoch

I made this last week using a little bacon fat to grease the cast-iron skillet. It turned out visually beautiful but perhaps a tiny bit dry - I wasn't blown away by the cornbread itself. This was a hit with everyone who tried it!

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hmm, mine wasn't dry at all. But, it happens! I'm glad it went over well on the whole.

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7 months ago Embrosia

Thank you,Emily, I must make this. But for me I think 1/3 cup sugar will be plenty.

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Definitely adjust to your taste!

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7 months ago mariangela chiari

looks delicious! I

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks!

Sara_clevering

7 months ago sarabclever

I'm torn between eating the figs in my fridge fresh, or making this. Love breakfast food like this; looks amazing. I assume I can use polenta here?

Sausage2

6 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yes, polenta will work.

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7 months ago Rosanna

Hola! I want to try this recipe but dont know what cornmeal is in spanish? Is it like corn flour? Thank you for your comments

Sausage2

7 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hmm, I don't really kno what it would be called. It's more coarsely ground than corn flour.

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7 months ago Rosanna

Thank you!

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7 months ago gregoryiain

polenta

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8 months ago Elaine

Making this today with figs ready fir picking from my tree. Thanks for this innovative recipe!

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Lucky you to have a fig tree, yum. I hope you enjoy it!

Kg_in_evanston_cropped

8 months ago Fairmount_market

This looks delicious. I think I'll a variant with small Italian plums that are dropping from trees by the bushel here.

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Ooh, yes, I bet plums would be wonderful.

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8 months ago Angela Brown

Wow! This picture is beautiful! I love the idea of adding figs to cornbread! Really great recipe...looking forward to trying it out this weekend!

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you! Hope you like it as much as we did.

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8 months ago amysarah

This looks wonderful. Makes me wonder about a variation - figs wrapped in bacon are delicious (an Eric Ripert thing,) and cornbread made with bacon fat (or flecks) is classic....so maybe those flavors could get together in your recipe. Gilding the lily too much?

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Definitely not overgilding! That's an amazing idea! I may have to try it myself!

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8 months ago Hannah Nickerson

Thanks for fueling my fig obsession! Lovely photos.

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm here for you! ;)

Me

8 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

Totally gorgeous, and on the to-do list for this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Kenzi!

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8 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Cornbread is good any time of day! I will chuck figs into mine soon!!! My neighbor is nuts for my avocado cornbread (in case you want a more savory solution for lunch :-)

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8 months ago Marian Bull

Marian is an editor at Food52.

Whoah! Do you purée the avocado or slice it? Also, Emily, this looks amazing.

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8 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Chunks - and corn too - I was worried it would turn a weird color the first time I made it but it's fine! Seriously - I make the neighbor this instead of cake for her BDay:
http://food52.com/recipes...

Sausage2

8 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum, yes please I would like that for my lunch! :)