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How-To

Cornbread and Beyond

How to turn one simple batter into four delicious dishes

October/November 2016 Issue
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Cornbread has always been a favorite of mine; I love how it straddles the fine line between bread and cake. I love it so much, in fact, that I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it beyond the bread basket.

For example, I’ve found that cornbread batter dolloped over fruit and baked makes for a fantastic cobbler. And leftover baked cornbread can be crumbled for a quiche crust, cut into cubes for stuffing, or sliced for french toast.

Crumbled cornbread moistened with milk makes a tasty and unusual crust for quiche.
Cubed cornbread lends far more personality to a Thanksgiving stuffing than white bread ever can.
For a savory-sweet twist on French toast, bacon-studded cornbread is soaked in custard and griddled.
Dollops of cornbread batter bake into a fluffy biscuit cobbler topping.

No matter the form it will ultimately take, I always start with the same batter. It’s a bit sweet, but it still works in savory dishes. The unique part of my recipe is that I use sour cream instead of the traditional milk or buttermilk. It adds a tangy flavor element, and the higher fat content produces a rich, dense texture that crumbles delicately without being dry, but still holds its own in other uses: it can be soaked in custard for the french toast without falling apart, it takes on a beautifully crisp edge in the quiche and stuffing, yet it bakes up soft and pillowy on top of an apple cobbler. Of course, you can always eat it straight up, too, slathered with butter for pure cornbread pleasure.

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