When the air gets chilly, there is nothing I love more than a big, steamy bowl of my mom’s soup. She makes ratatouille, chili, and minestrone. But my all time favorite is her butternut squash soup. It is delicious on its own, but it’s absolutely perfect with a big wedge of custard–y cornbread on the side.
It’s kind of a funny story how I found this recipe. I was perusing the internet, the usual suspects (i.e. Pinterest and Foodgawker), and saw something strange, almost disgusting, and oh-so intriguing. It was called spider cake. (perfect for Halloween right?!)
A cake with spiders in it? God I hope not!
A spider shaped cake? A spider shaped cake? Won’t that be hard to get out of the pan?
Soon enough, I found out that this cake has absolutely nothing to do with spiders. Whew. Because I am completely arachnophobic.
It’s actually a delicious cornbread with a lovely, custard filling. Crumbly, buttery, and with a super-crisp outside. Exactly how cornbread should be. I love how it gets baked in a cast iron skillet. It makes me feel all nice and rustic.
A warm slice of this cake covered in maple syrup is about as good as it gets.
With love, Erica
Custard-Filled Cornbread (The Breakfast Book by Marion Cuningham)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square (or 9-inch round) cake pan that is about 2-inches deep. Put the buttered dish or pan in the oven and let it get hot while you mix the batter.
Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Beat until the mixture is well blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk, and vinegar and beat well. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mix just until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
Pour the batter into the heated dish, then pour the cream into the center of the batter—don’t stir. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with maple syrup.