One of the foods I miss the most during the year is cornbread. I’ve been somewhat conditioned to primarily eating it during winter holidays and the occasional Sunday dinner. Growing up, it wasn’t often that we had cornbread during the week with a batch of chili or soup. Looking back on it, what a shame. Cornbread, whether it’s traditional or not, is something that I could have eaten every day–breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fast forward to today, I may not have the same desire to OD on cornbread, but there’s something about it that will always have a special place in my bread-loving heart.
No one in my family did that much baking, but this quickbread–cornbread–was something fast and easy that everyone knew how to make. It may not have been from scratch, but people knew how to jazz up a box mix. Now, I’ve grown into the kind of person who likes both versions–homemade or boxed–but when something is pretty easy to put together from scratch, why not just do it. I don’t agree with folks who say cornbread shouldn’t have sugar. You can adjust the amount based on your preference, but if you ask me, cornbread needs a little sweetness. Another thing to know about this recipe is that it is dense due to the small pan, so you will have a nice, hefty slice upon serving. Use a 9″ cake pan, if desired, and slightly adjust baking time for the modification.
Although it’s dense, the warm cornbread is moist with a soft crumb thanks to the crème fraîche, heavy cream and eggs. You may be wondering if it’s worth it to pay a few extra dollars for crème fraîche rather than a container of sour cream. The former is thicker, contains more fat making it richer and is also milder in flavor. Of course, you can sub in sour cream, if you prefer. If you do, share your thoughts on the result!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup crème fraîche, at room temperature*
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
- 4 ounces diced pimentos, drained
- Crème Fraîche Pimento Cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of butter into an 8″ round cake pan. Slide into the oven while it preheats.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the eggs. Add the
- crème fraîche and heavy cream, whisking to combine. Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Fold the pimentos into the batter.
- Carefully remove the greased cake pan from the oven, swirling the oil and butter around to coat the edges. Evenly pour the batter into the pan, and return to the oven. Bake for 50 minutes, then cover with foil and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and baked through in the middle.