I know, I know, how can I call something the best when I haven't tasted all the varieties of cornbread out there?! I don't mean to be presumptuous, truly! But when my husband and daughter walked into the kitchen and tasted a piece of this, they both proclaimed, "This is the best cornbread you've ever made. Actually, this is the best cornbread I've ever tasted!" Thus the name was born...
I've made a lot of cornbreads over the years and many of them have been good, but this one takes the cake, I mean, bread. It's moist and fluffy inside, but has that wonderful golden crisp crust that's the hallmark of truly great cornbread. And it's sweet, but not overly so. It really is a bread, and not a cake. The fact that it combines all the elements I love so much shouldn't have come as a surprise, considering the source. The recipe hails from the pages of America's Test Kitchen. Have you ever taken a look at any of their cookbooks? They are chock full of useful and carefully explained recipes and cooking information. I will definitely be devoting a Famous Fridays to them in the near future!
Unlike many of the other cornbread recipes I've tried, this one has actual corn in the recipe, which you puree, lending a true corn flavor to each bite. There's also buttermilk which keeps it from being too dense and gives it a little tang. Plus it's really easy to make. The majority of it gets mixed together in a food processor or blender and then you barely combine the wet with the dry in a bowl, before baking it.
If you're looking to make this the best Thanksgiving ever, make this best cornbread and then everyone will think you're the best! (Sorry, I got carried away!)
The Best Cornbread
Makes one 8-inch square
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes; Bake Time: 25-35 minutes; Total Time: About 1 hour
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1. Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish (preferably glass, it will make a better crust) with vegetable cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Using a food processor, process together the buttermilk, corn, and brown sugar until combined about 5 seconds. Add the eggs and process 5 seconds longer. Don't worry if you still see corn lumps.
4. Using a rubber spatula, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Gently fold the wet into the dry just a few times to barely combine it. Add the melted butter and continue to fold again just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 25-35 minutes until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then using another rack, invert the cornbread onto the rack and then invert again, so it cools right-side up. Let sit for about 10 minutes and serve warm.
6. I didn't double this yet, but I know it would double well. Change the pan to a 9x13 inch pan and just keep an eye on the bake time. Cornbread keeps well wrapped for several days, but let's face it, it's not going to be around that long.
Note: Recipe from Cooking at home with America's Test Kitchen, 2006.