We’re celebrating our Thanksgiving dinner tonight, I’ve been having fun baking up some of the traditional turkey day dishes over the past couple of days for our big feast tonight. However, this was my third batch of corn bread because I just could’t love the first two recipes I tried, so I finally decided to come up with my own. I’m super excited with the results and thought this would be a good one to share since there seems to be slim pickins out there. Is it just me or is corn bread these days more of a corn cake? I feel like all of the recipes I found were heavy on all purpose flour and sugar and didn’t have that hearty, old-school corn bread texture that I was going for. So this is my flourless version… just cornmeal and all of the tasty ingredients (it’s all about the bacon, really) to compliment it’s heartier texture. Salty from the bacon, sweet from the syrup, and with a hint of creamy from the dairy free buttermilk. Such a simple list of ingredients that compliment each other so well. It’s still slightly sweet and bread-y, but not to the point of being corn-flavored cake. This is the kind of corn bread I imagine folks eating around the Thanksgiving table back in the day before sugar and refined flour ruled. And cooking it in a cast iron skillet just really brings it all home. Comfort food at its best.
And, full disclosure (since some of you may already be aware of my love/hate feelings about corn in general): We try to limit the amount of corn and corn products we eat (more on that in another post soon) but I figure the holidays are the best time to splurge a bit. So, today, I will set aside my complicated feelings about corn, and dig into some hearty, old-fashioned corn bread… maybe even with a little honey ‘butter’ on the side
Also, if you’ve ever wondered how a dairy free buttermilk is possible, I’ll explain my trick below.
Maple Bacon Skillet Corn Bread
- 1/2 pound uncured bacon chopped
- 3 cups Cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
- 6 teaspoons Apple Cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cups butter or Earth Balance butter spread I use the soy-free version, melted
- Preheat oven to 450°
- In a large (10-inch) cast iron skillet, cook the chopped bacon until brown and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, combine coconut milk with apple cider vinegar. Stir gently and let sit for about 10 minutes. (this is how you make dairy free buttermilk. You can even use lemon juice instead of vinegar. So easy!)
- In a large bowl, mix cornmeal with baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and pepper.
- Whisk the eggs and add to ‘buttermilk’ mixture. Whisk in the syrup and melted butter/butter substitute.
- Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix gently until all combined.
- Quickly pour into the skillet with bacon (leave the grease, keeping in mind that fat doesn’t make you fat. I promise ;)). Put skillet in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool and serve straight from the skillet or cut into wedges and put on separate serving dish. Makes about 10-12 servings.