06 February 2013

Brown Butter Pineapple Cornbread -- the First of Many

That title refers to what this post is about, of course.  This post is about cornbread.  If you are a Southerner, cornbread is just part of your DNA.  At my house we ate cornbread like some people probably ate rolls or bread.  It was the side with just about everything.  We ate it with soup, chili, chicken and dumplings, etc.  We also made a meal of pinto beans and cornbread  really often.  That's the quintessential poor folk meal, but, man is it tasty.  I can't complain at all about that being a meal in regular rotation in my life.

I gave this post that title because I am sure that this will not be the last time I feel the necessity to post a cornbread recipe of some fashion.  I am going to use this post to give you the two keys that are essential to the best cornbread.  The first key is to barely stir you batter once you have added the flour and cornmeal.  Too much stirring and you will end up with a barely edible brick.  Overstirred cornbread is the main culprit that gives cornbread a bad name.  The second key is to preheat your pan.  Pouring your batter into a smoking hot baking pan or dish creates a yummy crust on the bottom and sides.  That crust is the very best part.

No one in my family ever made any fancy cornbread like this.  There was nothing additional every added except for a little butter every now and again.  I acutally put a little butter on top as soon as the cornbread comes out of the oven and spread it around on top.  No need to butter the cornbread.  It makes it neater for the kids to eat that way and also makes for really lovely bread.  This cornbread also has pineapple and brown butter in it.  Two of my favorite things in the whole world.  I might have been a little more disappoited with all the cornbread I had growing up if I knew you could do this with it....

Pineapple Brown Butter Cornbread
makes one 9" round cornbread or 12 muffins

Print me, Please!!!

the yummy pineapple-brown butter mixture
 cooling on the stove
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp butter
15 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal

Put 1/2 cup butter in a small saucpan or skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter and continue to cook until the butter is golden brown and nutty smelling.  Remove from the heat; stir in the pineapple and sugar.  Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to cool slightly.

Spray your baking dish or muffin cups lightly with nonstick spray.  Preheat the oven to 375°; put the prepared baking dish into the oven while it is heating up.

In a large bowl, stir together the eggs and buttermilk.  In a separate bowl, stir together the baking soda, salt, flour, and cornmeal.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon (do not use a mixer) until barely combined.

Once the oven has reached 375°, remove the hot pan from the oven and pour in the batter.  Immediately put the pan back in the oven.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Put the remaining 1 Tbsp butter on top of the cornbread and gently spread the melting butter over the top of the bread.  Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.

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