An old, well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a thing of beauty. My skillet belonged to my grandmother and I think about her whenever I use it.
This recipe is the only one I make anymore. I take a basic homemade cornbread recipe, sweeten it to our Southern tastes, and bake it in my skillet.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow self-rising cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T butter
If you don't have self-rising cornmeal then add one tablespoon of baking powder to whatever you do have.
In Florida we have honey made from bees who frequent our many, many orange groves. I use Orange Blossom honey exclusively, which is much sweeter than Clover, but for this recipe, any honey will do.
Don't have any buttermilk? You probably know the trick of adding one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of whole milk and letting it sit for five minutes, but here's another trick that I think gives you a result closer to the real thing: mix equal parts plain yogurt and milk (even skim). For this recipe you would use one half cup of plain yogurt and one half cup milk. Whisk together and there is no need to let it sit.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put three tablespoons of butter into your skillet and place it in the oven while it preheats. The butter will melt and not only grease your pan, but add an amazing crust to your cornbread.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and add the buttermilk, oil, honey, and eggs.
Mix until just combined and pour into hot skillet. Be careful with the handle. A cast iron skillet has no protective plastic to keep you from burning your hands.
Bake for 20 minutes, but check it after 17. Overbaked cornbread is dry, which is one reason some people don't like it. Your bread should be golden and barely brown around the edges.
Store the leftovers in a plastic bag in the fridge for at least three days. It usually doesn't last that long around here!
my recipe card: