Cracklin' cornbread is a Southern delicacy and a delicious one in fact. I remember only having it once when I was a little girl. Actually, I remember not really enjoying it, since, I was more use to the "cake-like" cornbread my parents would make from the Jiffy cornbread box. You guys know what I'm talking about. But of course, as I have gotten older my taste buds have changed and I appreciate the corn-forward flavor with bits and pieces of crispy bacon cooked into the batter.
The recipe is adapted from chef Sean Brock with a few changes. I recommend getting good quality cornmeal. A drizzle of some cane syrup and dollop of butter and you are good to go! Serve this along side some beans or smothered pork chops. Drools!
Please let me know your thoughts on this recipe--do you prefer a sweeter cake-like cornbread or a non-sweet dense one?
- 4 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 cup cornmeal, coarse ground
- 1 cup cornmeal, fine ground
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1 3/4 cups whole-milk buttermilk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- butter and cane syrup for serving
Place a cast iron skillet into an oven preheated at 450 degrees. While oven is preheating, finely mince the bacon and place into a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat. Stirring frequently so that it doesn't burn, make sure the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to drain, reserve the bacon fat, you'll need 5 tablespoons.
Combine the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and bits of bacon into a medium bowl. Place 4 tablespoons of bacon fat, buttermilk, and eggs into another bowl and combine. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to combine, do not overmix.
Take the skillet from out of the oven and place on the stove. Add the last tablespoon of bacon fat and swirl it around. Pour in the batter and distribute it evenly, it should sizzle.
Bake the cornbread for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean. Seve with some butter and cane syrup.