Marion calls this recipe magic. She's right. When it's all cooked, there's custard in the center. This is an old recipe...from the 30's actually..... and as I've mentioned before, I'm slowly working my way through Marion's marvelous cookbook, The Breakfast Book. While we like cornbread, I've only made the old fashioned kind: muffins or those wonderful cornbread sticks made with bacon grease.
This cornbread is an entirely different cup of tea. With this one, there's cornbread on top and cornbread on the bottom with a lovely creamy center. Marion's only instructions were to serve it warm so I did some investigating. Most people served it for breakfast with maple syrup poured over it. Or honey. Almost everyone seems to think in terms of breakfast or brunch. But I read one blog that suggested serving it with grilled meat, cutting down on the sugar a little, which you could do, but it's really not all that sweet to begin with. I liked that idea.
However you choose to serve it, it's definitely a recipe worth trying. I just couldn't bring myself to pour maple syrup over it so I took my first mouthful plain. And loved it. Then I took another mouthful with a little honey. Liked it that way too....but not quite as well. I didn't want it sweet (because I'm so accustomed to corn bread as savory?) so that night, I reheated it and served it for dinner alongside some grilled meat. It made a fine side dish as it's rich and really doesn't need anything else, even butter. Besides, everyone wondered how the heck that custard got in there!
I didn't say this was low calorie! Whole milk AND heavy cream. Yikes!
From The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish that is 2 inches deep. Put the buttered dish in the oven to heat up while you make the batter.
Beat the eggs a little and add the melted butter. Beat well. Add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and beat well again. Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda together and add to the egg mixture. Mix just until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
Pour into the heated dish and then pour the cup of heavy cream into the center of the batter. DO NOT STIR. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown. Serve warm.