Cast Iron Fig Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread is one of those versatile sides that works well with a wide variety of add-ins (or, in this case, add-ons). Some cooks go savory with chile peppers, bacon, or cheese, while others go sweet with sugar or honey. In this recipe, developer is opting for the latter approach, adding sugar to the batter and then giving the cornbread what she calls "a bit of a twist" by topping it with trendy made even sweeter by a lemon-honey glaze.

Instead of serving this date-topped cornbread as a side dish, Case feels it makes "a nice perfect breakfast treat." She describes the bread as "light, fluffy, moist, and a little sweet," enthusing, "It's divine," as well as calling it " a nice way to start your day" when accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. You won't need any fruit juice, as you'll get a healthy dose of 

To make the cornbread, you'll need butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and buttermilk, plus some fresh figs to go on top. In addition to these ingredients, you will also need lemon juice and honey for the glaze.

Before you start stirring up the batter, set the oven to 375 F, then take a small amount of the butter and use it to grease a 9-inch cast iron pan. The rest of the butter is to be creamed with the sugar — about 3 minutes of beating should make it nice and fluffy if you're using an electric mixer of some sort, although you might need to beat a bit longer if you're mixing by hand. After you've achieved fluffiness, beat an egg into the butter mixture, then scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat the process until all of the eggs have been used, then mix in the cornmeal.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add ⅓ of this mixture to the cornmeal mixture. Beat in ½ cup buttermilk, then another ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then another ½ cup buttermilk, followed by the rest of the flour mixture, and finish with the rest of the buttermilk.

Pour the batter into the cast iron pan, then cover the top of the cornbread with fig halves. Bake the cornbread for 40 to 45 minutes. When it's done, it will appear golden brown (except for the figs, of course) and if you stick a toothpick between the figs and down into the center, it should come out clean.

Melt the butter with the honey and lemon juice — Case notes that you can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave, whichever you prefer. Stir the glaze ingredients together, then pour the stuff over the cornbread while it's still warm.

Case tells us that the cornbread can be covered and stored at room temperature for 5 days. She suggests leftovers can be toasted to reheat them, adding, "You can spread some extra honey on top or a scoop of ricotta."