Monday, February 17, 2014

Strawberry Cornbread

Have you ever thought of having cornbread for dessert? I never thought of it until I saw Anne Burrell making her plum cornbread. I thought, hmm, I wonder how that would go if I used strawberries instead of plums. So I gave it a try, and here we are! Looks delish, doesn't it? And let me tell you it tastes just as good as it looks. And it was so easy to make, you don't even need a mixer. You just mix up the dry, mix up the wet, and then stir them together. Simple, right?! Oh, and one other thing. Anne served hers with vanilla ice cream, which would be fabulous, but I served mine with a cream cheese glaze. Absolutely divine. Whichever way you decide to serve it, I'm sure your family will love it.

1 pint (or more) strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tbs sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick melted butter, plus extra for baking pan
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving

Place strawberries in a small bowl with 3 tbs sugar and gently toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Butter an 8-inch cast iron skillet or an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In another mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk to thoroughly combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix gently to combine. When the mixture has just come together, transfer it to the prepared skillet or baking pan. Sprinkle the strawberries in an even layer over the top of the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it tests done in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. Serve topped with cream cheese glaze or vanilla ice cream.

Cream cheese glaze:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbs milk 

Beat cream cheese until very creamy. Beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add 3 tablespoons milk or enough to make it the right drizzling consistency.

When you toss together the strawberries and sugar, you'll notice after a half hour that they will have developed a lovely syrup. Don't add this to the cornbread, but for heaven's sake, don't throw it out! It's absolutely delicious on ice cream or waffles or pancakes. Or on a spoon right out of the bowl.
 This recipe clearly lends itself to any kind of fruit. I think next time I might try it with blueberries or peaches. Maybe both!

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