The cornbread looks unbelievably good! I can’t wait to try the recipe. Just in the last couple of years I’ve really been digging breakfast. Now that I work from home, I set the table and make a proper breakfast almost daily for myself and my husband. We seem to have the best conversation over breakfast (sometimes he’s late for work), and I enjoy it even more than a dinner date. Great post!
Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book has been favorite of mine forever. When I was poor, I used to check it out from the library as many times in a row as they would allow, sort of adpoted it as my own. Now i can say i have my very own signed copy. It is and has always been my most favorite book. One of the things I love are the well-placed quotes sprinkled throughout. Every recipe is solid and comforting. This is my “if my house was on fire and I could only take one cookbook” book.
I love this book and I love this recipe. I made this cornbread for my mom when I was in L.A. over the holidays and she too was blown away by the pure magic of it and has been spreading the gospel to all of her friends. I don’t care about the science either but would prefer to imagine magic elves creating the soft custardy center.
You got me at custard-filled, Tim. I love, love, love cornbread, and custardy things make my knees weak. Everyone has spoken so highly of this Cunningham book…I’ll have to put it on my list. I have to admit that a couple of my recent cookbook purchases do not exactly champion home cooking…but what can I say, I like elaborate projects.
About the cornbread: I’m guessing that it’s something I’ll want to invite friends over for and eat right away? In other words, what are the leftovers like?
Ah…The Breakfast Book. One of my most stained, dog-eared, crinkly paged cookbooks. Kind of old fashioned, but never out of style recipes that all work. I too like the quips and quotes provided, especially the one entitled “Breakfast Table Civility and Deportment”. We have a breakfast-for-dinner night each week as well and I’ve used the recipes that take a little more time since I have a tendency to be a bit “foggy” and hurried most mornings. Thanks for bringing attention to this wonderful cookbook.
This recipe seems to be a variation on a pudding cake, which I absolutely love. But the idea of a cornbread pudding cake, especially with your beautiful pictures to illustrate it, is absolutely heavenly. I’ll have to try this when company comes in a couple of weeks. And your post reminds me that I have to pull out my old copy of Marion Cunningham’s The Supper Cookbook– another great one– it’s been way too long! Thanks for the inspiration.
Oh I have this same magic spell… uh…recipe, only from the Joy of Cooking where its called Cornmeal Custard Topped spoonbread . I will have to look into The Breakfast Book. Who wouldn’t want a blanky of a book about breakfast? I figured out how to make this gluten-free last winter!
Ah you’ve got me sold. I have written down her book on my “to check out” list, but that does it! I’m going to buy it, looks right up my alley. Thanks for sharing. And what a good looking custard-cornbread!
This looks great! And I just ordered a copy of the book (and one for a friend)! Love breakfast – my favorite meal. Can’t wait to make this and all the other things I found in it. Love your comment about recipes in published books that don’t work. I don’t buy cookbooks any more (have plenty of tried and trues), but I am finding this comment to be exasperatingly true of the recipes published in the food section of my big city paper too. Guess that’s because they don’t have a test kitchen there anymore.
I love that book! I’ve yet to blog something from it, but man, you hit the nail on the head with what you wrote about it. And you know what – I’ve totally missed that recipe! And now, all I want is custard filled cornbread because it sounds a-mazing! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
I was already sold from the title of this post. It is amazing. You are right about the home cooks vs restaurant fare. Many people who love to cook are hooked by tv shows and they’d always go for the latest craze and the Michelin starred recipes – and I am putting my hands up on this one. I love a book full of good pictures as much as any other foodie, but my favourites are all books without pictures, books I’ve cooked over for years and years, and I still find inspirational.
This recipe is great and this book is amazing. Don’t miss the recipe for Raised Waffles! They are full of flavor from a yeast-raised batter, and super easy because you mix most of the ingredients the night before and leave them on the counter until morning. Then all you have to do in the morning is beat in the eggs and some baking soda and you’re ready to go.
Thanks for the book recommendation – i am always on the look out for new recipes and cookbooks and really appreciate bloggers telling me about them!
I agree that most of the times coloured photographs are great but then i do like the line drawings as well.
Love your blog! Happy baking :-).
Tim- I ordered myself a copy of this a few weeks ago based on your suggestion, and I have been reading it in bed for the past few nights, making myself really hungry, trying to decide where to start! Perhaps with this cornbread? Everything looks and sounds amazing, and you are so right about it being a “blankey” of a cookbook :)
Just made this recipe and have already emailed it to all my foodie family members. It’s absolutely amazing! Haven’t been a big fan of cornbread until I tasted this little gem. I only baked it for 45 minutes though, and it came out perfect. Have also ordered Marion’s cookbook. Can’t wait to explore it!
I just put this in the oven and I was wondering as I stirred up the batter whether I could use buttermilk instead of using the white vinegar and plain milk. Next time I think I’ll try it since I usually have buttermilk in the house, but not regular milk as we drink 1%.
I just made this and it is quite nice. I found that with a 22cm pan it overflowed. I found the butter just separated out and left an oily residue on top, so I think I’d reduce it next time, and maybe substitute with olive oil. The custard on mine was on top, not in the middle, so that I thought it hadn’t worked and hadn’t set. But the cornbread was fully cooked (probably overcooked) at the bottom. I don’t have a sweet tooth but found this really does require quite a bit of maple syrup, and I found it best served with fruit. I think I will try it for guests next week, served with a big bowl of sliced stone fruit, and maybe some bacon on the side. I think I’ll try it in a bigger dish too, to stop the overflow and to see if I can get the custard in the middle rather than the top, although it probably doesn’t matter that much where it is. It also definitely needs to sit for a few minutes before serving so the custard thickens up. I wonder if maybe the cream I used makes a difference (in Australia we don’t have “heavy” cream) as I just used regular cream (the type you can whip, with no thickeners etc). Thanks for the recipe.
Hey Katie, it sounds like you had a bunch of trouble. I can’t imagine why it overflowed in a 22cm pan, unless the sides were quite short. My pan was a 9-inch circle with 2-inch sides. There also should not be an oily residue on top, that has never happened to me in the many times I’ve made this. It is a very small amount of butter. I am guessing that the fact that your pan overflowed caused all of the problems. You cream sounds correct, I used the same that I would use for whipped cream. Better luck next time, but I am glad you liked the flavour!
I have had this Marion Cunningham book for years – have not made this recipe, but am on my way to the bookcase to get the book right now. I adore this book and buy a copy anytime I see it at a thriftstore or elsewhere and gift someone. The Supper Book gets a workout at our house also. thank you
I bought The Breakfast Book off your recommendation because I needed a little bit of filler in my Amazon basket for free shipping, and I’m absolutely thrilled with it! I just read it for fun when I’m bored.
I’ve made the Lemon Yogurt Muffins (which were amazing), and I made this cornbread for my family this morning. There were no complaints from a very complain-y family, which was in itself magic.
You are right, Marion Cunningham is awesome. I had this recipe on my list of things to make and this post was the kick in the pants to get me to try it. It was wonderful out of the oven and not bad reheated. That’s for the recipe reminder!
I have been something of an evangelist for this recipe since I first found it here – we usually eat slices with cold chicken and pear butter, or with fried eggs and melted pepper jack cheese. My 9″ pan is too short-sided, so I put the extra batter in a 6 well muffin tin with a Tbsp or two of cream in each well, it works nicely and has the same cooking time.
Thanks so much :)
This recipe sounds great. I am in need of comfort food after a fun night out. And the bonus is, it’s Gluten Free! Yay. You’ve made this Little Chef very happy. I’m sure I’ll be even happier when I’ve eaten it. Thanks for the inspiration.