Growing up, cornbread was something that we ate really often. A big pot of pinto beans, fried potatoes and hot cornbread was one of my favorite meals. Of course, my mom would usually add some green veggie like canned mustard greens to it and ruin what was an otherwise perfect meal. Ha! I’d usually try to get those out of the way so that I could enjoy the rest of my food.
I’ve mentioned that I now have one of my mom’s cast iron skillets and it’s gotten quite a bit of use since I got it. Cornbread just isn’t quite the same to me if it’s not made in a cast iron skillet. I mean sure, you can make this in a glass dish. It won’t have that same crispy top (bottom?) though. We always flipped ours out onto a plate, then cut it. The bottom became the top. I know some people serve theirs right out of the skillet or don’t flip it once it out though.
There’s quite the debate amongst people on the addition of sugar to cornbread. Up North, cornbread is really sweet, like a dessert and more cake-like in texture. Some Southerners will use some, and then you have those that say absolutely no sugar. I’m on Team No Sugar. That’s how I grew up, and it will stay that way. I didn’t even know sweet cornbread was a thing until I happened to get some at a church potluck. Yuck! It just didn’t make any sense to me. It’s bread, not a dessert. 🙂
Now, you can make this in a glass dish, but I wouldn’t preheat it in the oven like I do with the skillet. I know some people have done this, but I wouldn’t because I’ve heard of incidences with the glass breaking. In that case, I would just grease the pan with butter and pour the batter in and put it in the oven. If you want to just use butter, I’d preheat the pan, then melt the butter in it right before adding it to the batter.
I used ghee (clarified butter) for mine because it’s a healthy fat that can handle high-heat. You could use bacon grease or some other type of high-heat oil if you prefer. I like to add some of the melted ghee to my batter. Preheating the pan in the oven helps give it that nice crispy crust. Not everyone chooses to do this though. My mom always did, so that’s what I do, too. Just be careful doing this because that skillet will be super HOT.
Since I chose to not use any flour in my recipe, this can be a gluten-free cornbread option if you make sure that the cornmeal used is certified gluten-free. My cornmeal of choice is Arrowhead Mills. It’s certified gluten-free and Organic.
Whether you serve this with a big ole’ pot of pinto beans or use it to make cornbread dressing during the holidays, it’s totally delicious !