Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

I’ve always wanted to attempt my cornbread in a cast iron skillet. This will give you a few variations of cornbread recipes. Honestly, if you have a cornbread recipe that works for you then use it. You can still use bacon grease in the skillet, pour in your cornbread batter and bake it in the oven.  If you don’t have reserved bacon grease, just cook some bacon in the cast iron skillet you intend to use and save the crispy bacon for BLT’s or crunch some up and add it into your cornbread. I did this in an 8” round and 9” round. Depends how thick you want your cornbread. I liked the thicker  by using the 8”.
2 tablespoons bacon grease or olive oil
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt, plus some kosher salt for sprinkling on top
Optional: 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling on top (this is not for everybody)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat an 8”, 9″ or 10″ cast-iron round skillet with the bacon grease and place it in the oven to heat.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, and baking soda in a large bowl.  
Add the buttermilk, eggs, and butter and stir until just combined (batter should be lumpy).
Pour the batter into the hot skillet and sprinkle the top lightly with kosher salt and pepper.  Bake until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out of the center clean, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and turn cornbread out of skillet.  Slice into wedges and serve warm.
Jalapeno Cornbread or Jalapeño Corn Muffins
Makes 1 Dozen Regular Muffins
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Cheddar cheese
Kernels from 1 ear fresh corn (½ cup fresh or frozen corn)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 scallions, trimmed and minced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use any baking pan method you prefer.
Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners and spray the top part of the pan lightly with vegetable oil spray.
Toss together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Mix together the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and sour cream in a separate bowl and blend well.
Add the cornmeal mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not over-mix.
Fold in the cheese, corn, jalapeno, and scallions.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan with a large ice cream scoop (1/3-cup scoop). You can also use a mini muffin pan for smaller muffins or a cast-iron or glass corn stick pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins have risen, the tops spring back when pressed lightly, and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and serve immediately.
Marie Calendar’s Honey Butter Recipe:
1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of honey, 6 bacon slices crispy, cooked, and crumbled. Combine all.
Extra: Add 1/2 of a jalapeno, minced finely to the butter for extra spice.
Spread on your favorite toast or cornbread.
Inspired by: Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen: Salt and Pepper Skillet Cornbread