Last year I was on a quest to find the perfect corn bread recipe – I swear every weekend I made a different one. Eventually I will post what I think was the best one…but I found this recipe in Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life and it was unlike any cornbread I have ever made before. I had to give it a try.
Corn bread to me is the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews, or BBQ. Any time I made any one of those, there is usually a side of corn bread to go with the meal. I was making soup for dinner, so I had an excuse. The recipe is strange – you make the batter, then right before you put it into the oven, you pour a cup of heavy cream right into the center of the pan, right on top of the batter, so it just swims aimlessly around the pan. Then you carefully put it into the oven to bake. I left it in the oven for an entire hour – until it was really nicely browned on top – but it still didn’t seem to be done. I took it out anyway though because I didn’t want it to overcook – and let it sit for a while. The funny part is, this is not a cornbread that you serve with dinner – this is dessert – a wonderful custard filled cake that you drizzle maple syrup on top of – and eat it with a spoon. I didn’t realize this until it came out of the oven. When I finally served it – the custard had set slightly, but it was still pretty runny. I thought it was fabulous – but my daughter loved it the next night more – the custard had hardened – but when you put it in the microwave to warm it up, it became slightly soft and just a perfect consistency. The first night I served it with maple syrup – the second with honey – both were fantastic. My daughter asked if she could have it for breakfast the next morning…
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cormneal, preferably medium ground
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or a 9″ round pan. Put the dish in the oven to warm while you’re preparing the batter. Don’t put the dish directly on a pizza stone if you have one in your oven. This applies while baking the cornbread too.
In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter in the microwave using medium power so that the butter doesn’t splatter everywhere.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour, cormeal, baking powder and baking soda.
When the butter has cooled a bit, add the eggs and whisk to blend well. Then add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and whisk well again. Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth and no lumps are visible.
Remove the heated pan from the oven, and pour in the batter. Carefully pour the cream into the center of the batter. Don’t stir! The cream will form a layer just under the surface of the batter. Bake for about an hour or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes or so before slicing. Serve with maple syrup or honey.
Note: Covered with plastic wrap, this bread will stay good at room temperature for 1 day. If you put it into the refrigerator covered – it will last up to 3 days. Leftovers are delicious at room temperature, or warmed in a low oven (or microwave). Remember to serve with syrup or honey.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here: Custard-Filled Corn Bread