Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blueberry cornbread

Blueberry cornbread | Homesick Texan

Last weekend after a family wedding, I stayed the night at my grandma’s before embarking on a long road trip across Texas. When I arrived at her farm, the house was rich with a savory aroma. “What are you cooking?” I asked. She said we were having ham and black-eyed peas for dinner. “And cornbread?” I said. She said yes, then asked me to make it.

We went into the kitchen and she pointed to a cast-iron skillet and containers of cornmeal and flour on the counter. “The buttermilk and bacon grease are in the refrigerator,” she said. Then I got to work. Before I started, however, I asked her if she had any blueberries for me to add to the cornbread. She said she didn’t unfortunately, but she was intrigued.

I explained that before arriving in Texas, I had made blueberry cornbread back in my kitchen in New York. Blueberries are in season now and I’d picked some up at the market. While I enjoy popping them in my mouth like candy, I needed to use them up before my travels and considered making muffins with my bounty. After seeing some cornmeal blueberry muffin recipes, however, I decided that baking a similar recipe in a skillet would be even better.

Blueberry cornbread | Homesick Texan

While I had started with my usual cornbread recipe, I added sugar to the mix and also changed the ratio of cornmeal to flour, as I wanted it to be a bit more tender and sweet. Of course, I’m one that feels sugar in cornbread is simply not done, so I was clearly breaking the rules. No matter, I was okay with making an exception in this case. Since I was shaking things up, for extra flavor I put in a bit of nutmeg and lime zest to the blueberry cornbread, too.

After I pulled the skillet out of the oven and had my first slice, any worries I had were soon gone. Not only did the blueberry cornbread retain its essential character, but also there was the joyful bonus of tart juicy bursts from the blueberries in each bite. Sure, it was a little sweeter than regular cornbread, but not enough to be cloying. And while it was good with a pat of butter, it was also so soft that it could be eaten on its own, hot out of the oven.

This blueberry cornbread makes for a fine beginning to the day, though it could easily be a sweet ending, too. It’s simple to put together and while you will be required to turn on your oven, it’s not for too long and I think the end results are worth the extra heat.

Blueberry cornbread | Homesick Texan

After describing the blueberry cornbread to my grandma, she was disappointed she didn’t have any berries in the house. No matter, we still had a fine meal of regular cornbread along with big bowls of black-eyed peas, ham, and rice. And next time, I’ll make sure we have some blueberries, too.

Blueberry cornbread

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 450°F. 
 While the oven is heating, put the oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven while the oven preheats.

Meanwhile, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lime zest, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.

Take the cast iron skillet out of then oven, and pour the hot oil into batter and stir until well combined. Add the blueberries and gently stir until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter back into the hot skillet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and an inserted knifes comes out clean. Serve warm.

8 servings




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Kathryn Rocheleau said...

I'm so glad you got to go back to the wonderful state of Texas for a spell Lisa! The blueberry cornbread would be a huge hit in my house, thanks!

Catherine said...

This looks great. I've been making cherry cornbread muffins to use up some dried cherries I had. Soaked the cherries in tea first.

teamc777 said...

Hi Lisa, what a neat idea of adding blueberries in cornbread. Can't wait to try it. Your brisket recipe is the talk of our whole family. I get requests for it often. Thanks so much for sharing and I enjoy reading about all you do. Que Pasa buen dia. Adios!

Mike @ Optional Kitchen said...

That little bit of lime zest sounds just delightful, like it would tie it all together. Your grandma gives me an idea, though: I'm thinking about trying this with bacon fat instead of vegetable oil (sort of pie crust or cookies with lard). If I actually get around to it, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Amanda Regan said...

There is a breakfast place where I used to live that did a fruit cornbread that rotated. They always serve blueberry and then there is another. I've loved raspberry and tart cherry.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Kathryn--I's always good to be back!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Catherine--I love the idea of using tea-soaked cherries!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Mike--Lime zest makes just about everything great! And please let me know how it turns out with bacon fat if you try it.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

teamc777--Thank you! I'm so glad the brisket is a hit in your home!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Amanda--Love that! I will have to try raspberries next!

Dianne said...

Am trying this, I buy and freeze blueberries in season and always have some on hand. One of my favorite fats to use in cornbread is rendered chicken fat.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Love that idea. I like sugar (gasp) in my regular cornbread so this is just up my alley!

sweet alyssum said...

My cast iron skillets are12", 8", or a wooden handled 10". Or I have a typical square 9" glass baking dish. Which do you think would work best?

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Diane--Whoa! I've never heard of chicken fat in cornbread but definitely have to try that!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Rocky Mountain Woman--Your secret is safe with me!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Sweet Alyssum--You can use a 12-inch skillet and have it be thin, or use the 9-inch baking dish.

Celeste said...

Your recipe would be awesome as a stack of pancakes, I'll bet!

Pam said...

Awesome, this has to be delicious and is a must try! Nothing could beat cornbread but with blueberries is over the top goodness!

Anonymous said...

The first time I made regular cornbread, I was shocked (shocked I say!) to see sugar in the recipe. I confirmed with my mother who said it was Ok to leave it out. Glad to hear I am not the only one to not use sugar. --Linda

Dianne said...

To use sugar or not in cornbread seems to be a North vs. South thing. South-no, North-yes. I think the blueberry cornbread really needs to have sugar. My Mom was Yankee, Dad -Texan, so I usually cut the sugar in half in regular cornbread.

ashley said...

This sounds amazing. I never thought of putting blueberries in cornbread. Thanks for the idea!

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