One old-fashioned ritual that I have completely adopted as my own is afternoon tea. It is so wonderful to sit down with a steaming cup of fragrant tea and a homemade sweet treat. Often, my treats are no more than a slice of bread and jam, but every once in a while, I will bake something yummy just for tea time.
Yesterday, while channeling my southern girl side, I had a craving for cornbread slathered with honey. There is really nothing better than crispy cornbread just out of the oven. I used a great recipe from the back of the bag of Indian Head corn meal. Of coarse, I changed the recipe around a bit, so here it is:
- 1 C corn meal
- 1 c flour
- 1/4 c sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 c butter
- 1 c milk
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put a 9″ cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well.
- Combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a big bowl. Use a whisk to mix them together and get out lumps. (Note: I learned this trick to avoid sifting. It works pretty well, otherwise, the recipe calls for sifted flour)
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter until it resembles tiny pebbles.
- Beat the milk and egg together until blended, then add to the dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible. The goal is to have the ingredients combined, but still a bit lumpy.
- Grease the hot skillet with a bit of butter and pour the batter in. Cook for 25 minutes.
If you are going to go through the bother of making cornbread in the first place, I highly recommend that you use stone ground corn meal. Modern methods of grinding corn to make meal heat the meal up which kills the corn germ and a lot of the vitamins, so the companies have to add them back in artificially. I prefer to use stone ground because it keeps the temperatures down, so you are getting all the corny goodness. The Indian Head corn meal I used is stone ground, is widely available, and it tastes wonderful.