I saw a recipe for Blueberry Cornbread in the weekly newsletter from CUESA (the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture) - the folks who make the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market happen - and bookmarked it immediately.
Odd, because 99% of my cooking is savory and I tend to avoid having desserts around unless I'm going to distribute all but a serving to others. I'm no saint, and I'm very well acquainted with my weaknesses - but this dish spoke to me. I like that it does not have much sugar and there was something about that juicy, bubbly fruit nestled in the cornbread that I could not resist.
...and I had tayberries that weren't getting any younger. Tayberries are a cross between a logan berry (itself a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry) and a black raspberry, developed in Scotland in 1979. It is a very fragile berry when ripe and I've never seen them in the grocery store. The taste is a bit more wine-y and a lot more subtle than a raspberry and I absolutely love them. They make a fantastic jam - even a little sugar makes the already lovely flavor intensify exponentially. Normally, I buy them in smaller quantities and just eat them (my default mode for summer fruits).
I purchased them on Saturday and by Sunday I knew I'd have to either make something, eat them all or risk them developing mold - even in the refrigerator stored in as shallow a layer as possible to keep them from being crushed.
One note: I used the cornmeal that I had in the pantry - a coarse grind that is better suited to a hearty polenta than to this cornbread. I will use a fine grind the next time. I think it affected my batter and cooking time (it took about 12 more minutes to cook than the recipe specified).
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries - any juicy berry will do the trick if you don't have access to tayberries. And definitely cook it in a cast iron skillet if you have one - I love the way the crust turns out. If not, a Pyrex 8" square casserole will do the trick.
Oh - I used twice the amount of berries called for - very smart move on my part.
Recipe: Tayberry Cornbread
Adapted from Kimberly Hasselbrink's (The Year In Food) adaptation of a Sunset Magazine recipe.
Yield: about 9 servings
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1 1/3 cups cornmeal
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups fresh tayberries, divided (...or blueberries, raspberries, blackberries...)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees - oven rack middle.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Fold dry mixture into wet. Gently fold 1 cup berries into the batter.
- If using a skillet, warm it over a low flame and pour the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet – enough to coat. If using a 8" square Pyrex baking dish, pour the remaining tablespoon of butter in the backing dish and use a pastry brush, or crumpled piece of paper towel to butter the inside of the dish.
- Pour batter into skillet. Distribute the remaining 1 cup of berries over the top of the batter and push them down into the batter, but leave a little showing on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 9 wedges (round skillet) or squares (8" square pyrex)