Subscribe

Maple sage buttermilk cornbread

The perfect cornbread – moist with a fine, consistent crumb, crispy edges, just the right amount of smoky sweetness and a hint of sage.

  • close
    Maple sage buttermilk cornbread offers a bit more flavor than regular cornbread.
    The Garden of Eating
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Considering how simple cornbread is, it's funny that my cornbread track record is spotted with failures. Sometimes the bread comes out of the oven perfectly browned with a nice, moist crumb and just the right amount of sweetness and sometimes it's dense and grainy and bland and a good deal of it ends up in the compost heap.

But this is the perfect cornbread – moist with a fine, consistent crumb, crispy edges, just the right amount of smoky sweetness and a hint of sage.

In an effort to ensure success, I bought a bag of locally grown and locally milled corn from Wild Hive Farm, one of the only working mills left here in the Hudson Valley. Their grains are all top-notch and I love knowing that the corn grew to ripeness in a field and was ground into meal near me rather than somewhere in the Midwest.

Recommended: 8 ways to make black-eyed peas for New Year's Day

I bought a grass-fed buttermilk and used organic flour, butter and locally-raised eggs. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, there's an easy workaround you can do – just put a tablespoon of either lemon juice or plain old white vinegar in a cup or bowl and add one cup of milk (you can make more, of course, just use that basic ratio), and let it sit for 5 minutes. That's it!

I had perused quite a lot of cornbread recipes and liked the idea of using sage to add a little extra flavor so I crumbled up some of our dried sage leaves in the dry ingredients. If I'd had some corn kernels left in the freezer, I'd have tossed those in, as well.

The recipe is simple, you just mix the dry ingredients and mix the wet ingredients and then mix together until just combined before turning out into a greased baking dish. I like to use bacon fat and put the dish in the oven while it's preheating to melt the fat easily.

The basic recipe below was inspired by a similar one by Alana Chernila whose wonderful book, "The Homemade Pantry" is an inspiration.

Maple Sage Buttermilk Cornbread

Makes one 8- x 8-inch square pan

1 cup organic, all-purpose flour
1 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs (try to find pasture-raised eggs from a farmer near you)
1 cup buttermilk (try to find organic or pasture-raised)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted organic butter, melted, plus another generous smear to grease the pan though I usually use bacon fat for that purpose
2-3 tablespoons crushed, dried sage, stems removed

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Throw a generous pat of butter or a spoonful of rendered bacon fat into an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish or similar-sized cast-iron skillet.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and crushed sage until thoroughly combined.

3. Put the pan into the oven to melt the fat. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat them until uniform in color then add the buttermilk, maple syrup and melted butter and stir or whisk the mixture until it's well-combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir just until combined.

4. Remove the pan from the oven using pot holders and turn it to coat the bottom and sides evenly with the melted butter or bacon fat. Pour the batter out into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and crispy and are pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with lots of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Skillet cornbread

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK