Tomato Upside-Down Cornbread

August 17, 2016
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Crispy, butter, soft, tangy… This Tomato Upside-Down Cornbread has it all. A dramatic presentation of the humble cornbread, this recipe will elevate any barbecue or cookout to a fine-dining level. It’s also incredibly effortless to make! —The Suburban Soapbox

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: The Suburban Soapbox has been submitting recipes to Food52 since 2012—but this is their first finalist recipe!
WHAT: Upside-down cake meets skillet cornbread.
HOW: Caramelize tomato slices in a skillet, cover with a thick cornbread batter, and bake. Once cool, invert onto a plate for oohs and ahhs.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love cornbread. We love tomatoes. We love upside-down cake. How did we never think of combining them before? Even with its tender-buttery-velvety-ness and caramelized edges, it's still savory enough to pass for brunch while tomatoes are still in season.
—The Editors

  • Serves 8
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the eggs and buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  4. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat the remaining butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until the butter is melted.
  5. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Arrange the tomato slices in the bottom of the skillet and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread with a spatula so the bottom is covered. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cover the skillet with a plate and turn the skillet over to remove the cornbread.
  9. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Best if enjoyed the same day.

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