Southern Spoon Bread

Published November 1, 1996.

Why this recipe works:

Spoon bread recipes call for whisking cornmeal into a simmering liquid before stirring in eggs and butter and baking. Ideally, spoon bread should be light as air, with a tender, rich crumb, but this can be difficult to achieve. The act of stirring cornmeal into simmering milk can be tricky; if… read more

Spoon bread recipes call for whisking cornmeal into a simmering liquid before stirring in eggs and butter and baking. Ideally, spoon bread should be light as air, with a tender, rich crumb, but this can be difficult to achieve. The act of stirring cornmeal into simmering milk can be tricky; if you don't do it properly, the meal can separate from the liquid and turn into a bunch of lumps rather than a smooth mush. You've got to start whisking like crazy and not stop until the mush is thickened, two to four minutes. We found that either yellow or white cornmeal would work in our spoon bread recipe as long as it was finely ground, for the smoothest texture.

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Serves 6 to 8

If you can't get finely ground cornmeal in your local store, you can approximate it by putting a medium-grind cornmeal in the food processor or, even better, in the blender. Processing will take several minutes, but eventually you will have little clouds of powder-fine meal in the bottom of the bowl. A standard eight-inch soufflé dish works beautifully, but any straight-sided, heavy pan will work, even an iron skillet. Because the spoon bread soon falls from its spectacular height, serve it as quickly as possible; even in its deflated state, though, spoon bread still tastes delicious. Serve leftovers with maple or cane syrup.

Ingredients

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