I love cornbread for breakfast. A little sweet, tender, toothy, and nubbly. I think it's just perfect with a cup of coffee. Add fresh fruit and you've really got yourself a morning treat. I found some beautiful fresh figs at our market the day I was baking cornbread, and I couldn't resist halving them and dotting my bread with them. Cornbread is, of course, the very tastiest fresh out of the oven, but this one keeps quite well if you wrap it, and it toasts up nicely. I like it plain, but it's also really, really good with a scoop of ricotta. —fiveandspice
1, 9-inch round cornbread
(1 stick) butter, just softened, and cut into chunks (plus extra for greasing the pan)
coarse yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups
milk or buttermilk (I prefer the flavor from buttermilk)
Heat your oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or another heavy baking pan with butter.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the cornmeal.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mixing on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk/buttermilk, and starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Scrape the batter into the greased pan, then arrange the halved figs on top. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes.
Serve warm, with spoonfuls of ricotta, if desired. The cornbread keeps, tightly covered, for several days. Just lightly toast slices in a toaster oven before serving and you’re good to go.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.