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Martha’s Cornbread

Before preparing the baking dish or any of the other ingredients, measure out the frozen kernels and let them stand at room temperature until needed. When corn is in season, fresh cooked kernels can be substituted for the frozen corn. This recipe was developed with Quaker yellow cornmeal, but an organic stoneground whole-grain cornmeal from your local grist mill will work beautifully, though yielding a slightly less tender cornbread. The Kansas childhood version preferred by my mother was the sweet and fluffy Jiffy Cornbread mix that came in the little blue box. Remember?

For baking, we prefer a Pyrex glass baking dish because it yields a nice golden-brown crust, but a metal baking dish or cast iron skillet will also work. The cornbread is best served warm. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 min.

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 1/2 oz) yellow cornmeal (see note above)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed (see note above)
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl until combined; set aside.

In food processor or blender, process brown sugar, thawed corn kernels, and buttermilk until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs, and process until well combined (corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

Using rubber spatula, make well in center of dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into it. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to barely combine, add melted butter and continue folding until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until just warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

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