Sage Cornbread · GF (8 portions)
While cornbread clearly falls into the savory category and thus may seem something of an anomaly on BraveTart I am, after all, a baker. It breaks my heart to see people make cornbread from a mix when it is so crazy simple to make. With just a simple substitution, it can be gluten free as well.
Growing up in the South, sugar in cornbread constituted nothing short of sacrilege; but while I lived in New York, I really enjoyed the sweet take on cornbread that prevails in those parts. Not so much because of the sweetness but because the sugar helps the cornbread retain its moisture and tender crumb.
I’ve tried to bridge the gap with this recipe, using just a hint of sweetness from honey but keeping the flavor strictly savory with the sage. Perhaps a version people North or South can agree upon?
Mr. BraveTart grew purple sage in our garden this year, hence the decidedly not green leaves pictured below. Obviously, use whatever kind you have!
5 ounces yellow cornmeal
4 ½ ounces AP flour (I use an equivalent amount of buckwheat flour when I go GF)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
12 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 ¼ ounces honey
8 ½ ounces buttermilk
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 egg yolks
12-15 additional sage leaves to garnish
Rub an 8” or 9” cast iron skillet with some safflower oil and set it into a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 400° and let the skillet preheat with the oven, for about an hour. This ensures a nice, crackling crust on the cornbread. It’s traditional to use lard, but as I’m allergic to pork I just stick with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients and then add all the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. You did it.
Now, remove the hot skillet from the oven. Arrange the sage leaves along the bottom, veined side up (thus, pretty side down). Make a pattern if you like, or scatter them irregularly.
If you’ve made a pattern, use a spoon to carefully ladle in the batter to avoid disturbing leaves. Or just pour the batter in all at once and let the leaves fall where they may.
Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. If you plan to use the cornbread for stuffing, bake an extra five minutes or so to ensure a drier texture.
Upon removing the cornbread from the oven, gently run a dull knife around the edges to loosen the bread, then invert onto a cutting board or plate. Remove the skillet and voilà!
Enjoy with copious amounts of butter and molasses.