As you have probably already gathered, I love cornbread. What’s not to love? Right?
Don’t get me wrong, yeast rolls and fat buttery biscuits are great too. Italian and French loaves make my heart sing…but nothing in the name of bread does it for me like crunchy and rustic cornbread.
Cornbread to me, is like manna from heaven, just as I imagined it to be in my Great Grandmother’s Sunday School Bible stories as a child. Cornbread is my comfort food. It is my warmth on a cold winter’s day. It is my delight with freshly cooked pinto beans and fried chicken. It is my dessert when I add butter and blackberry jam! It’s my favorite Cracker Barrel item too!
I also love the taste of Lemon and Blueberry together- married in summer splendor, oh my, these two make a lovely couple! Combine that taste unison with my thrill for kitchen experimenting and what you get is a wonderment of dishes sprinkled with the sweet and tart flavors of Lemon-Blueberry surprise. Lemon-Blueberry cornbread is a slightly sweet treat that will make your mouth and tummy sing for more!
Some of my other favorite Lemon-Blueberry prizes are: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes, Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake and Lemon Blueberry Scones/Biscuits.
There’s really nothing hard about making your normal cornbread or pancakes or what-have-you into a gourmet delight, or at least what seems like a gourmet delight. Becausee I like the exploration and the outcome of dabbling and experimenting in the kitchen and because I’m willing to try anything once; I find everyday in the kitchen to be a new adventure. I say, if you can imagine it, you can cook it. I’ve had no complaints from my family either, and they are they true testers. I’m not saying that I haven’t had some fails…to be sure, I have! But in the end the wins way out-weigh the fails.
When I make this Lemon-Blueberry cornbread- I do actually add a little sugar- usually turbinado or ‘sugar in the raw’. I am by no means a sweet cornbread kind of girl! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…) But the lemon and blueberry do conjure thoughts of sweetness and that’s how I make mine. Add more or less as your taste demands.
If you are making a pan of cornbread already, (see my recipe below), you can half your mixture and make regular and lemon blueberry at the same time. When I do this, I usually use my Mother’s hand-me-down ‘wedge’ cast iron skillet. It makes individual pieces of cornbread; each is crispy and crunchy!
By making it this way, I can pour half of the skillet in plain and half in lemon blueberry. Ingenius design! You could simply use two small cast iron skillets, muffin tins or a corn pone skillet as well.
My southern-style rustic and heavenly cornbread recipe is just below.
I simply add a tablespoon of lemon extract and a half cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and a 1/4 cup of sugar to the batter to make the Lemon Blueberry Cornbread. For good measure, you can also sprinkle some pretty sugar crystals on top of the corbread before you pop it into the oven.
Ingredients for Southern-style Rustic skillet cornbread:
- 1/4 cup of oil, shortening or bacon fat (coconut oil is great for the sweeter recipes too!)
- 1-3/4 cups of cornmeal mix – your choice- I like Aunt Jemima’s Buttermilk Mix
- 2 cups of milk, more or less
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Yes, I use a mix for my cornbread because it is simply easier- everything is already added in and it makes my life less complicated when I am in a hurry to eat cornbread.
If you want it all from scratch…here are the dry measurements/ingredients to use in the place of the cornmeal mix:
- 1-1/2 cups of all purpose white or yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
If you choose the ‘by scratch’ method, just note that everything else remains the same. : )
Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
Add the fat to a well seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet or corn pone pan. Now,before you mix the batter, you will put the skillet into the pre-heated oven to melt the fat and allow the skillet to heat to a searing crust crisping heat!
Break the egg into the milk in a measuring cup or bowl – whisk together gently- breaking the egg up minimally.
In a medium sized bowl or a very large (4-8 cup size) measuring cup, gently mix together the cornmeal, and the milk and egg mixture. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick, but easily pourable.
With sturdy pot-holders, remove the skillet from the oven. Make sure the entire skillet bottom in coated in the hot grease.
Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet- hear the sizzle!?- and immediatley return the skillet to the hot oven.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Let the the cornbread sit/rest for about 5 minutes. Turn the cornbread out onto a cooking cooling rack or a plate. This is an imortant step if you want to keep your bottom crust super crispy!
If your skillet is well seasoned, your cornbread will not stick to the bottom of the skillet. If it does stick, do not panick. you can usually work it loose with a flat metal egg spatula.
P to the S….
Leftover cornbread can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so…reheated at 350 F for about 20 minutes.
It can be stored for a few months in airtight bags. I usually double bag mine. This is particularly useful if you enjoy southern-style cornbread dressing. Once you have an accumulation of cornbread ready- you can make the dressing in a wink!