Southern Spoonbread

Southern Spoonbread

This southern spoonbread is to die for.

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 is a beautiful way to make new friends while sharing favorite foods.

Our friend Teri brought this Southern comfort food to one of our dinners, and it was an immediate hit. We may have even guiltily scraped the dish clean. Here is my lightened version, which depends on yogurt to deliver the desired texture and flavor without all the calories.

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  Place a rack two-thirds down in the oven; start preheating to 350°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly.
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional if using nonstick)
Evenly butter an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish, cast iron pan, or heavy ceramic nonstick pan. In any case, the depth should be at least 3 inches. Depth prevents overflow as batter swells during baking.
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a 3-quart bowl, whisk together. Yogurt produces moist, light spoonbread.
  • 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 to remove all kernels. If using frozen corn, load into a mesh strainer and rinse under hot tap water for 15-20 seconds to defrost; strain thoroughly with vigorous shakes. Set aside.

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, whisk all together. Add to egg mixture in thirds, stirring with a silicone spatula after each addition just until there is no dry flour. Do not over mix. Scrape into prepared baking dish/pan. Bake until edges are amber and the top begins to show color (45-50 minutes). If cooling, transfer to a wire cooling rack; cover with a lint-free cloth. Weighing flour ensures consistent results. Bleached flour is low in gluten, which promotes a tender crumb. Sifting eliminates distasteful clumps. Adding dry ingredients in thirds decreases overall mixing time, minimizing gluten development.



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