Source of Recipe
From "A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen" by Dora Charles
"It's always time for cornbread: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time. My grandfather would break his leftover cornbread up into a bowl and pour on some buttermilk. My brother will eat cornbread straight from the refrigerator. Cornbread is perfect with vegetables or even just heated up and served with the warmed leftover potlikker from vegetables. Cornbread and gravy. Cornbread with cane syrup poured on top is always a hit. If my family has a sacred dish, it's my grandmother's cornbread dressing, which is always on the table during the holiday season. Down here, cornbread could hardly be more important or more beloved. My cornbread is my grandmother's, and I cook it in my favorite kitchen utensil, her well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. It's not a yellow-cornmeal cornbread—I always use white cornmeal, because it tastes much more delicate to me and I don't like the mealy texture of yellow cornmeal very much. There are a couple of unusual things about this cornbread. I put just a little sugar in the batter, and when the cornbread is just out of the oven, I rub it all over the top with the end of a stick of butter so it glistens. Once the butter is melted in, serve it right away with more butter (use that same stick) on the side."
List of Ingredients
◦ 4 fatty bacon slices (or more if your bacon is lean)
◦ 2 cups white cornmeal
◦ 1 cup self-rising flour
◦ 2 tablespoons sugar
◦ 1 cup buttermilk
◦ 1 cup water
◦ 2 large eggs
◦ 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, for glazing and serving
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Adjust the racks to the upper and lower positions of the oven.
Cook the bacon in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is crisp and the fat is rendered. Set the bacon aside and pour the grease into a Pyrex measuring cup. You'll need about ⅓ cup grease; if you don't have enough, cook up some more bacon. You can crumble the cooked bacon and add it to the cornbread batter before it goes into the skillet if you like, or save it for another meal. Put the skillet in the oven.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the buttermilk and water and mix well. Crack the eggs into the bowl, and mix well.
When the skillet is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and roll it around to cover the bottom and sides. Mix the remaining bacon grease into the cornbread batter. Add the crumbled bacon if you're using it. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and place on the bottom rack of the oven to bake until set, about 20 minutes. When it's set, move the cornbread to the top rack to brown. When it's done, the top will be lightly browned with cracks (this will take just a few minutes, so watch it carefully).
Remove the cornbread from the oven and rub the top generously all over with the end of the stick of butter. When the butter is melted, slice the cornbread in the skillet and serve right away, with more butter on the side if you like.