Warm Custard Spoon Bread

By • December 9, 2010 • 98 Comments


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Author Notes: Growing up my mother would often make golden Johnnycakes for breakfast and after several moves I had lost the original recipe card that she had given to me. One morning, I was craving Johnnycakes and stumbled across this simple yet decadent breakfast dish in The Joy of Cooking: Custard Spoon Bread. After making it a few times, I incorporated a few changes and ingredients to make this my own recipe that I now share with others. This dish has quickly become a family favorite and I am now starting my own family holiday traditions with Warm Custard Spoon Bread at the helm. Serve with pure maple syrup and crispy bacon.
*cooking tip: I recommend using organic dairy and eggs to give it a richer flavor* - LocalSavour
LocalSavour

Food52 Review: A cross section of this layered dish reminds us of one of those sand jars you make in elementary school: the creamy white custard center is flanked by a sunny cornbread base and a paler cap of tender white cake scented enthusiastically (we think brilliantly) with nutmeg. A little vanilla keeps this from being entirely savory, and we agree with LocalSavour that it would be out of this world with a drizzle of maple syrup and some crispy bacon. - A&MA&M

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups stone ground corn meal (I use local Texas cornmeal)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 cups organic milk ( I use 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted organic butter + 2 teaspoons to grease your pan
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy organic cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an un-greased 8x8-inch baking dish in the oven to warm.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients except the heavy cream. You will use the heavy cream at the end to finish off the dish.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly stir until batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  5. Remove heated dish from the oven and add the remaining 2 teaspoons butter.
  6. Slowly scrape the batter into the heated and now buttered pan and set dish on the oven rack. With the dish in the oven, slowly pour the cream over the batter, without stirring.
  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top layer is golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tags: family, Holidays

Comments (98) Questions (1)

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3 months ago christina

I didn't have milk on hand nor did I have 2 cups worth of almond milk so I worked with what I had: 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup 0% fat greek yogurt (I want to think it made it more healthy). Also added 2 tablespoons of cane sugar. Ive never been to the south or had real spoonbread but I'm extremely happy with my version of it! Thanks for the recipe!

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4 months ago Cindie

This is terrible- If you want real spoon- bread ask a southerner on how to make it - Real spoon bread is moist and flavorful. This is dry and weird with the addition of nutmeg and vanilla.

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4 months ago MartyE

cindie, please if you are a southerner who knows how to make a good spoon bread please share your recipe with me. I have been looking for a recipe for 35 years at least. Had the first and best spoon bread in a Charlotte NC hospital 39 years ago. Wrote for the recipe and was informed that the chef had just passed away and his recipe went with him. Please share.

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4 months ago MartyE

cindie, please if you are a southerner who knows how to make a good spoon bread please share your recipe with me. I have been looking for a recipe for 35 years at least. Had the first and best spoon bread in a Charlotte NC hospital 39 years ago. Wrote for the recipe and was informed that the chef had just passed away and his recipe went with him. Please share.

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4 months ago Cindie

Marty
Sure- follow this link:
http://www.saveur.com/article...
This is the best you will eat - I am from KY and this has been a staple at this tavern for years. Simple but perfect make sure you use white cornmeal and ENJOY!

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4 months ago LE BEC FIN

cindie, thx so much for that link. it's exactly what my VA mom made all my life. no nutmeg or vanilla in the 'authentic' version (though riffing on recipes is no crime.)thx much again.marty plse make sure you use stone ground white cornmeal; NO quaker oats!

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4 months ago MartyE

Thanks for the advice.

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4 months ago MartyE

Thanks cindie, Can't wait to try it. And it has no flour which I can't have.
Marty

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12 months ago Greatfallsdeb

Tried this today....no special occasion...just like to make special Sunday breakfast. It was wonderful! I would make this again anytime and especially for friends

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about 1 year ago The Morning Cup

Just made this and it was amazing. I added a 1/4 cup of maple syrup into the batter. Yummy!

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about 1 year ago The Morning Cup

I made this and it was amazing! I added 1/4 cup of maple syrup into the batter. Yummy!

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about 1 year ago LE BEC FIN

My mom was a VA girl and this was always part of the big Sunday breakfast we had when we visitied her family in the country. They call it Batter Bread down there. It was always served with: scrambled eggs, country ham and bacon, fried apples, biscuits, gravy.After all that, you're either ready to take a nap or go out and plow the back forty!

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over 1 year ago Miachel

I spotted this recipe in the food52 cookbook, and I just wanted to thank you!

As a fellow Southerner (and Austinite), I know a good custard is worth its weight in gold.

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over 1 year ago sophiea

This is delicious! You could even serve it as a savory souffle for Thanksgiving dinner.

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about 2 years ago cindy_perkins_marlow

I made this for brunch this morning and it was fantastic. Served it as suggested with bacon and maple syrup. This is a keeper and will find its way regularly to my brunch menu.

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over 2 years ago tREX

Thank you for this; I have been trying to find a recipe similiar to a dish at a local Seattle restuarant called the Boat Street Kitchen. They do a "corn meal cake" that looks and sounds very much like this. Would you say that this is also close to Spider Cake? I have tried that, but have been disappointed with its dryness. I am very eager to see if this spoon bread will allow me to have the wonderful experience I have out at home. Thank you, I'll let you know how it compares.

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over 2 years ago Franca

My kids and I sometimes have breakfast for dinner. Spoon bread not being familiar to us here in central Canada we decided to give it a go. It was very rich but oh so comforting especially with the cold weather now nipping at our heals. With a small drizzle of maple syrup (which we have plenty of in these parts) made this the perfect breakfast for dinner!

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over 2 years ago MartyE

Years ago when I had my son in Charlotte nc I had some spoon bread there. I never forgot it. Years later, seriously years later I wrote asking for the recipe. They wrote me back telling me they knew exactly what I was asking for but the chef had retired and had recently passed away. The recipe was not available. I've been on a quest ever since. I will try yours.

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almost 3 years ago jollygreenani

LocalSavour- I have a question...I'm short on baking dishes at the moment, could I use a 9" glass Pyrex pie pan to bake in?

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about 3 years ago Food Fashionista

Wow, I am definitely making this in the coming days...Thanks for sharing!

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about 3 years ago janeinaustin

Paul mentions sugar. So do I need to add it?

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I've made this twice now, and have not added sugar. With some maple syrup on top it doesn't need any added sugar IMO.

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The original Joy of Cooking recipe from which this is derived calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar. I've made this version (the recipe posted here) four times now, adjusting things here and there -- there's a foodpickle thread on baking powder, where I describe what I did and why -- and frankly, I think it's better with the sugar. The sugar doesn't really add sweetness, but it brings out the flavors of the corn and the cream (and the nutmeg). And the dish doesn't taste too sweet when served with maple syrup and bacon, as recommended by the Joy of Cooking editors (1979 edition). That just MHO. ;o) P.S. I also think it's much better with just the one teaspoon of baking powder, as called for in the JOC.

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about 3 years ago janeinaustin

Thanks hardlikearmour---will give this recipe a try today.

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about 3 years ago FifteenForever

I've never made spoonbread before and was excited to try this recipe. After 1 hour and 15 minutes, my knife still wasn't coming out clean, and the edges were extremely brown. Let cool slightly and tried to eat, but the center was still too runny and tasted undercooked. Oh well, I tried.

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about 3 years ago Paul Morris

You forgot the sugar which brings the flavors of vanilla and nutmeg
together.

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over 3 years ago matthewddsg

I made this for my family on Christmas morning, it was loved by all.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Made this for breakfast this am. Used polenta, and had to do a mix of cream and half-and-half. Came out beautifully! I love the contrast between the cornbread and custard layers. This recipe is a keeper.

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over 3 years ago Bob

My wife and daughters awoke to the heavenly smell of the spoon bread coming from the kitchen, sat down and proceeded to enjoy its wonderful taste. While maple syrup is a nice compliment to the bread, I found its subtle sweetness most enjoyable, especialy since I do not like overly sweet food items. It is a great recipe, easy to make, and one that will bring about compliments from all. So double up on the ingredients at hand so that you can make it again soon. Compliments, LocalSavour!

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over 3 years ago LocalSavour

I am sure you were TOPS upon waking them with the heavenly scents. So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe... thank you and cheers to you, Bob!