I am a huge sucker for a great piece of cornbread. It’s something I only make occasionally at home, but I’ve had some absolutely fantastic finds at restaurants lately. Over the summer, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I met friends at Copper Canyon Grill when we went to DC for the weekend, and devoured their iron skillet cornbread. Here in Pittsburgh, I recently discovered the amazing cornbread at the Double Wide Grill. No matter what I order to eat there – brunch, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter – I ask for a side of cornbread. It’s wonderfully fluffy and crusty, and served with warm butter. I’m convinced there’s nothing better.
I take that back. The only thing better is making it home, and making it just as good. Even though I have a favorite cornbread recipe, I knew that to get that crunchy crust that I’ve fallen in love with, I needed to bake it in a cast iron skillet.
The result was just as I had hoped – a wonderfully tender cornbread with a buttery crust. As a bonus, this is probably the easiest cornbread recipe I have ever made. All you need to do is whisk together the dry ingredients, then whisk together the buttermilk and egg, stir it all together and pour it into the preheated cast iron skillet with melted butter. If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, I don’t know what will!
While there’s always room for things like bacon, cheese and jalapeños in cornbread, there’s something magical about pure cornbread. Put on a pot of chili and get your cast iron skillet ready!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon, stir the batter together until completely combined.
Put the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place the pan in the oven until the butter is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, swirl the butter around to coat the bottom and sides, then pour the batter into the pan. Smooth the top and bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.