Yellow and crispy, this is the cornbread I make to serve with a pot of beans or chili
There's nothing special about the ingredients. This is probably the closest you get to most of our mothers' and grandmothers recipes.
If you do prefer to make your own buttermilk, as I do, you simply add 1-1/2 Tbsp. of white vinegar to 1-1/2 cup of milk.
Pouring the batter in a hot cast iron skillet and letting it cook on the stove top for a minute makes it nice and crusty.
Then you stick it in the oven to finish baking.
You can also bake this in a glass 8" square Pyrex dish. You will want to put the glass baking dish in the oven with the 2 Tbsp of Crisco and get it really hot before pouring in the batter. The bread won't be as crispy around the edges or bottom as it will be in the cast iron skillet but you won't be disappointed.
Old Fashioned Cornbread
1 cup yellow cornmeal (stone ground, course)
1/2 unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or see note to make your own
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Crisco shortening
To 1-1/2 cups milk, add 1-1/2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar. Stir and allow to sit. It will thicken in a short amount of time.
If you are making your own buttermilk, do so now and set aside. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Add the baking soda to the milk and egg mixture. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and mix slightly with a fork.
Melt 1/4 cup of the shortening and slowly whisk into the batter.
Place a cast iron skillet over high heat and melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. shortening. Pour the batter in to the skillet and allow to cook for 1 minute. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.