Melissa Clark of the New York Times cooking section is one of my favorite chefs and authors. Often when I’m cooking from a recipe, I find something that I think could benefit from a tweak here or there. Melissa’s cornbread recipe is perfect- absolutely flawless. I can find no favorable adjustments, changes, or adaptations – it is a knockout just the way it is. My husband would argue that all cornbread deserves fresh jalapeños, so if you have the notion, got for it. Otherwise, I dare to say, there’s no need to look at another cornbread recipe ever again.
- 12 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ fine or medium ground cornmeal
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 375. Place a 10-11 inch cast iron skillet over low heat and melt enough butter to coat the bottom and sides. Set aside. (If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use a well buttered 13 x 9 inch pan, but the sides will not get as crispy.)
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over medium high heat until it bubbles and the milk solids start to turn brown, stirring often to keep it from burning. When it has brown flecks pour into a large bowl.
- While whisking, pour in the maple syrup (if you pour it in too fast the cold syrup will make the butter harden again, if this happens, gently warm it again over low heat). Whisk in the buttermilk, then add the eggs one at a time whisking thoroughly.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder and soda. Whisk this into the wet mixture, then pour into your pan. If using a cast iron skillet, it helps crisp the sides if it is warmed when you pour in the batter.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned and pulling away from the sides slightly. The top will feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.