Thursday, May 19, 2011

Corn Bread with Dried Cranberries

Hey.  Drop that.  And drop that.  No, seriously, drop everything and get your sweet little butt into the kitchen.  You need to make this.  Make this immediately.  And eat it warm.  And then even try to tell me you aren't in love with it.  I bet you can't.

It all started innocently enough.  I was reading the cookbook I bought for myself in my end-of-tax-season celebration and I saw something that would use some of the leftover buttermilk I had in my fridge.  And sure, it called for dried blueberries, but why couldn't I use the handful of dried cranberries I still had in my pantry, purchased on my very first Greenville Costco trip.

If all I needed to buy was a bag of good yellow corn meal, I was in.  And lucky for you, it all came about. 

This cornbread is delicious.  It came out of the oven and I really tried to imagine not cutting it and eating it immediately.  See, it's traveling with me to Terre Haute, IN this weekend, and I figured it'd be sweet to bring it whole.  But then I realized, in the name of food blogs everywhere, it was my duty and my honor to taste it if I was going to blog about it.  And that's my defense.  Granted, there are no excuses for the second and third I went back for.  But no one has to know about those. 
It was by the sheer grace of God that I managed to wrap the rest of it up in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  I did double layers to discourage any trickle of an idea that I could just unwrap it for another slice.  My second choice was to hide it somewhere.  Which may explain why it's already packed into my suitcase.

Ben was trying to guess what it was that I'm bringing this weekend.  Spoil the boy as I have, he is no longer surprised that I bring something homecooked, something usually sweet.  Not telling him what I'm bringing is the only element of surprise I have left.  The only hints I gave him was that in contained both butter and deliciousness.  And really, what else do you really need to know?

Two quick notes: when the butter is melting in the pan in the oven, watch it like a hawk.  It'll go from sizzling to burnt quick.  Also, when you pour the batter into the pan, some of that melted butter will come up the sides and on to the top.  I was worried about it, but as far as I can tell, didn't effect the beauty or pure deliciousness of the corn bread.  Guten Appetit! 

Corn Bread with Dried Cranberries
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook

4 Tbsp. (60 g.) unsalted butter
2/3 c. (105 g.) yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
2/3 c. (105 g.) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (250 ml )buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 c. (60 g.) dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degree C).

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and set aside.  Cut up the remaining 2 tbsp. butter into a 9-inch round cake pan.  Place pan in oven until it is hot and the butter is melted and sizzling, about 3 minutes (Watch!)  Using oven mitts, rotate the pan as need to coat bottom evenly with melted butter.  Remove from oven. 

In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in buttermilk, melted butter and beaten egg.  Using a wooden spoon, mix the batter just until it comes together, it's ok to have some lumps.  Do a quick chop of the cranberries and stir them in.  Spread batter evenly into the hot pan. 

Bake at 375 until "the top springs back when pressed gently in the center", about 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Best served warm.

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