Ever had cornbread that’s so darned rich it’s really corn CAKE? Well, that’s what I made the other night. I wanted collards for dinner, masses of thin, green ribbons slow simmered in a gorgeous pot likker seasoned with bits of smoked ham, chopped onion, vinegar and red pepper flakes. And resting on top of my greens I wanted a thick chunk of cornbread. Collards and cornbread go hand in hand. Since this pot was only for Jimmy and me I made it much spicier than usual adding more vinegar and quite a bit more red pepper flakes. To cut some of that heat I wanted a rich, sweet cornbread. I’m not one to put any kind of fruit in cornbread…I had always thought that just ruined it until this week when my friend Janey brought over some soup, blueberry cornbread and a HUGE dark chocolate candy bar studded with almonds. I had been feeling puny so the soup really hit the spot. I wasn’t going to even try the cornbread because of the blueberries but she had purchased these things at Whole Foods and probably paid $9.00 for that little chunk of bread. A firm embracer of “waste not, want not”, I tasted it. Oh, sweet baby Jesus. It was so good. I thought, “I can do this and do it my way.” So I did. Since I won’t pay $6.00 for that little, crappy container of fresh blueberries at the grocery store I opted for canned blueberries in a light syrup. Don’t get pie filling. Just make sure the berries are well-drained after softly rinsing them well in a colander. And, of course, be very gentle when stirring them in and keep the mixing down to a bare minimum. If you’re wondering why I didn’t use frozen it’s because I think they would start defrosting while folding them into the mix and their juices would turn the batter purple. Other than those pointers it’s pretty simple. And it’s so good-looking! Deep purple against that soft yellow is just lovely. But you could use peaches, canned, fresh or frozen. Or other mixed berries. But try this. You’ll love it! And use your cast iron pan. It will give you a crispy, salty crust that will make your head spin. You could easily serve this Thanksgiving morning with bacon for breakfast. And your family can snack on it through the day until dinner is served. It’s really good the next day, too, cold. Oh, and the recipe doubles really well. Just add 12-15 minutes to your baking time. I hope you like it!
Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread
yield: 1 10 1/2″ cake
Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread
- 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt, I use Fage non-fat
- 2 tablespoons honey or molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 15 ounce can blueberries in LIGHT syrup, I use Oregon brand
- a scant 1/4 cup of canola oil for the pan
Preheat oven to 400°.
- Pour oil into pan and swirl it around making sure to cover all the bottom and up the sides. I use a 10 1/2″ iron skillet.
- Place pan in oven.
- Drain blueberries in a colander and lightly rinse to get off any excess purple syrup. Drain well and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients breaking up any large lumps and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix buttermilk, yoghurt, honey or molasses and egg. Mix well until smooth. I use a small whisk to break up the yoghurt.
- Add buttermilk mixture to Jiffy Corn Muffin mixture and stir until there are no dry spots but try not to stir too much.
- Very gently fold in drained blueberries, trying not to break the berries as they’ll stain the batter purple.
- BEING EXTREMELY CAREFUL SO AS NOT TO GET BURNED, remove hot skillet from oven and pour in batter. Return to oven.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top.