SOUTHERN SPOONBREAD

Southern Spoonbread

When we moved to Charlotte, we discovered that our church organized dinner groups, and so we signed up right away to meet new people. It was a wonderful way to make new friends while sharing our favorite foods with one another.

Teri Licari brought this Southern comfort food to one of our dinners and it was an immediate hit. I think we may have even scraped the dish clean. Here is my lightened version, made “from scratch”.

  • SOUTHERN SPOONBREAD
  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
Position a rack two-thirds down in the oven; preheat to 350°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly.
1 tablespoon butter Evenly coat an 8-inch baking dish, ramekin, or cast iron pan.
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a 3-quart bowl, whisk together.
1/2 cup (2 ounces) diced white or yellow onion Whisk into the egg mixture.

Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry or tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/4 inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice.

Holding slices together reduces exposure to eye-irritants.
26 ounces fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup whole milk
Pulse together in a food processor 3-4 times to break up 20-25% of the kernels. Whisk into egg mixture.

Tip: To cut corn from the cob, remove husks and silk; brush with a dry paper towel to remove any persistent silk strands. Cut 1 inch from each end of the cob to reveal kernel depth. Stabilize a 5-quart bowl on the workspace by placing it over a damp washcloth. With a cob on end inside the bowl, use a downward cut to free several rows of kernels. Rotate cob and repeat until all kernels are removed. If using frozen corn, place in a mesh strainer and rinse under hot tap water for 15-20 seconds to defrost; strain thoroughly and set aside.

A big bowl does a good job of catching flying kernels. Defrosting shortens the baking time. Thorough straining prevents watering down the batter.
4 ounces whole yellow cornmeal, stone ground
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 ounces (1/3 cup)
bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon double acting baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a 1-quart bowl, weigh the flour; whisk all together. Add to egg mixture in thirds, whisking each time just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

With a flexible silicone spatula, scrape into prepared baking dish. Bake until center is lightly amber (50-60 minutes. If cooling, transfer to a wire cooling rack; cover with an inverted oversized storage container.

Weighing flour assures consistent results. Bleached flour is low in gluten, which promotes tenderness. Sifting leavening agents eliminates distasteful clumps. Adding dry ingredients in thirds nets less mixing time, reducing gluten development. Overmixing toughens batter through flour gluten development.

 

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