As y’all know, my mom didn’t like to cook, but she always got dinner on the table, thanks to the conveniences of the 20th century…canned goods and cake mixes! So the first time I ever had homemade skillet cornbread it was a revelation. The bread had a nice crumble to it and wasn’t sweet at all, it was a savory bread.
The doctor I worked for (when I was very young!) had been raised in the south and made his skillet cornbread the traditional way without wheat flour, he used just cornmeal. And buttermilk and bacon grease gave his bread the almost tart flavor that paired so well with his “Chili Beans;” another southern dish that I one day need to try!
I never got his recipe, but over the years of trying lots of different skillet cornbread recipes, I think I’ve finally come up with a bread that is closest in taste to the one that captured my taste buds so long ago. This uses butter instead of the traditional lard or bacon grease and I’ve added a bit of sugar to take the edge off the tart flavor. To enhance the moisture, a can of creamed corn is used and to make it pop a bit I added some jalapeños.
When you make this be sure your oven is fully pre-heated and your skillet is hot, hot, hot before adding the batter.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
While oven is heating, put the cast iron skillet in so it heats up, too.
In a medium bowl stir together the corn meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Melt 4 Tablespoons of the butter.
Add the eggs, buttermilk, butter, jalapeños, and corn to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened.
When oven is heated to temperature, carefully remove the skillet. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.
Swirl the skillet so the butter melts and coats the entire pan.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Serve directly from the skillet.
Serve with Honey Butter! Combine 4 Tablespoons softened butter and 2 Tablespoons honey and mix. If you want this whipped, use your electric mixer, or you can just mix it together with a fork.