Monday, June 18, 2012

Robbie's Favorite Cornbread

Super sweet cornbread

You know those dishes that just have to be made like mom makes them?  For me it’s chicken with the white sauce—I’ll have to post that one sometime.  But for Robbie, it’s cornbread.

When Robbie was a boy, his little brother was allergic to milk, so their mom would use orange juice instead of milk in her cornbread.  The result is a super sweet cornbread that has turned Robbie into a picky cornbread eater.

When we first got married, I started making cornbread with her alterations to my old go-to recipe—orange juice instead of milk and a little vanilla.  It always tasted amazing, but the texture was never quite right.  I figured it was because the OJ throws off the acid/base balance.  A little tinkering, and I’ve finally perfected it!

One key to any cornbread is to not over mix it.  There is a huge temptation to mix the wet and dry ingredients together until the batter is smooth—DON’T DO IT!!  The batter should still have lumps in it when it goes in the pan.  This concept may deserve a separate post.

To make this completely dairy-free, I' sure you could replace the butter with melted shortening or vegetable oil (though I've never tried it).

Robbie’s Favorite Cornbread
1½ c. flour
⅔ c. sugar
½ c. cornmeal
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1½ c. orange juice
⅓ c. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease 8- or 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.  In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, beat eggs to break up.  Stir in orange juice, vegetable oil, butter, and vanilla.

Be sure to break your eggs up thoroughly so
you don't end up with chunks of egg in your cornbread.
"Yeah, that's gross."  --Robbie

The only precaution here is don't add the butter directly to
the eggs if it is still hot from being melted.

Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended.

Do not over mix—there will still be lumps.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cornbread muffins:  Grease or paper-line muffin cups.  Fill ⅔-full; bake 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing.

It's so good, you may not even want butter.  I
usually eat mine plain.

As a bonus, you’ll notice that all my pics are of a funky 9”X13”-turned-into-a-9”X9” pan.  I used this technique twice in the same week so I thought it was worth sharing.  If you don’t have the right size pan, simply use a larger pan and make a foil dam to get the proper size.  Heavy duty foil is best, but regular will suffice (that's what I used).  Be sure to fill the empty part with some water to avoid overheating and burning that side (like filling the unused spaces in a cupcake pan).  Just be sure not to puncture the foil or let it spill over--no soggy cornbread!

Sorry, foil doesn't photograph well.  Be sure the dam
is as high as the pan walls.


Michelle P said...

This sounds so interesting! David does not like citrus in much besides a glass though, so I've gotta know-- can you taste the orange juice? I may have to try this just out of curiosity! :) Thanks Sumiko!

Sumiko said...

Hi, Michelle!

I don't think it tastes citrusy, but if he's picky about it, he may suspect something. Do what I do: make it when he's not home, serve it to him, THEN ask him what he thinks after he's finished a whole piece. =-) And if he doesn't like it, that means more for you!

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