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Moist and Cakey Cornbread with Fresh Corn

Posted By Rick Rodgers On August 23, 2015 3:39 PM In | No Comments

cornbread.jpgI often swap (swipe?) recipes with (from?) my dear friend Beth Hensperger, who has written almost as many recipes as I have over the years.  OK, we're neck and neck. But the main reason I bring up the Babe of Baking is cornbread.  Both of us were raised on a not-very-authentic version of the Southern classic that used canned corn as the moistening agent. This cheap and cheerful ingredient was always in my family's kitchen cupboard, and it never occurred to me to turn my nose up at it.  (I was certainly raised to eat with was put in front of me, anyway, with the exception of liver and onions.) The canned corn infused my Mom's cornbread with straight-off-the-stalk goodness.  So, here it is the end of the corn season, and I overbought (as usual) at the market.  Faced with a mountain of corn, it struck me that I could puree some kernels with sour cream to approximate the canned corn, and go from there.  Here's what happened... 

Moist and Cakey Cornbread with Fresh Corn 

Makes 9 servings 

If you like sweet cornbread, whisk 1 to 2 Tbsp of sugar into the dry ingredients. 

You can make this spicy by adding 2 Tbsp minced fresh jalapeño chiles with the corn kernels to the batter.  You could also mix in 1/2 cup/55 g shredded sharp Cheddar cheese.  But I often prefer my cornbread plain because there is usually plenty of spice in the other dishes on the menu.  Think about it...not everything on the plate needs to be hot and spicy.  

2 large ears fresh corn, husked 

½ cup/120 ml full-fat sour cream 

¼ cup/60 ml whole milk 

2 Tbsp honey 

1 large egg 

1 cup/TK g yellow cornmeal, preferably stoneground

¾ cup/TK g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda 

½ tsp kosher salt 

4 Tbsp/2 oz/TK g unsalted butter, cut up 

1.  Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF/TKºC. 

2. Using a large knife, stand each corn ear on its stem end, and cut down to remove the kernels from the cob.  Scrape the knife blade along the cob to extract the “corn milk.”  You should have 1½ cups/265 g corn kernels.  Set aside ½ cup/90 g of the corn to add to the batter later.  

3. Purée 1 cup/175 g of the corn, with the sour cream, milk, honey, and egg in a food processor or blender. Measure it: you should have a scant 2 cups/240 ml (add more milk if necessary).  Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. 

4.  Place the butter in an 8-in/TK-cm square baking dish.  Bake until the pan is hot and the butter is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir the butter into the corn mixture, leaving a thin layer of residual butter in the pan.  Pour the corn mixture, with the reserved corn kernels, into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. The mixture may look a bit lumpy, but that’s fine. Fold in the reserved corn kernels. Spread the batter evenly in the hot pan.  

5.  Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 15 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve warm.  

 

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