Now that berry season is here, all bets are off. I know I should be making well-balanced meals and considering nutritional content, but summer makes it hard. On the one hand, it’s easy to just eat a bowl of cherries and call it lunch. But berries also make for the best baked treats. They do. They’re colorful, juicy, and lend incredible moistness and flavor to anything on the sweet side. So expect to find more than your fair share of berry desserts over the next few months. We will make up for it later.
This custard filled cornbread is a prime example. There may be those of you who believe cornbread shouldn’t be messed with since it’s perfect on its own. But I implore you to try this breakfast version. It’s very mildly sweetened (although we like to correct that problem by dousing slices in maple syrup), and the recipe creates a magical custardy filling and blueberry topping that are nothing if not fun in the kitchen. And best of all, it reheats like a dream, and tastes almost as good on day 4 as it did on day 1. Perfect weekend brunch (and possible leftovers) material.
Blueberry Custard Filled Cornbread
Recipe from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3/4 cup oat flour
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup heavy cream
Grade B maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a deep-dish 10-inch pie pan. Place the buttered dish in the oven to warm while you make the batter.
In a small dish, melt the butter in the microwave on medium-high heat, careful not to let it splatter (about 45 seconds). Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
Add the eggs to the butter and wish to combine. Add the sugar, salt, milk, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla and stir well. Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture slowly and stir until the batter is smooth.
Remove the heated pan from the oven and set on a baking sheet for easy transport to and from the oven. Spoon the berries into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Then ever so slowly, pour the cream right into the center of the batter. Don’t stir. Carefully slide the pan into the oven, taking care not to jostle.
Bake until golden brown on top, 50-65 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes to allow the custard to firm up before slicing. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days (but do rewarm them before serving!)