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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: Buttermilk tenderizes and flavors this blueberry cornbread in a wonderful way

Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread.Sheryl Julian

Makes one 8-inch bread

Northern cornbreads are sweeter than Southern; where Southern are typically made without sugar, this Northern version is mixed with a modest amount. Buttermilk tenderizes and flavors cornbread in a wonderful way, but if it's not handy, stir 1 tablespoon plain distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity) into 1 cup whole milk, and set aside for 10 minutes to sour the milk. As for the cornmeal, try to find a stoneground variety; generally, the finer, more free-flowing cornmeal bakes into something more cake-like, while a coarser meal gives you an earthier corn flavor and grittier, sightly denser, texture. The batter is stirred together in a bowl (no mixer!) and can be prepared and in the pan by the time your oven comes up to temperature. Blueberries form juicy pockets of fruit in the golden cornbread.

Vegetable oil (for the pan)
cups yellow cornmeal
1cup all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking powder
¾teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
cup sugar
cups blueberries, picked over for stems, washed, and dried
1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
1cup buttermilk
5tablespoons butter, melted and cool but still liquid

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Use a small amount of oil to rub the inside of an 8-inch baking pan. Line it with two 8-by-12-inch strips of parchment paper, one going one way, the other perpendicular to it. Press the paper into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

2. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar to blend them.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg and extra yolk, buttermilk, and melted butter.

4. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and toss lightly. Pour in the buttermilk mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold the batter gently, picking up batter from the bottom so all the flour is moistened, until it forms a slightly lumpy mixture.

5. Scrape the batter into the baking pan and spread it evenly, smoothing the top. Tap the pan once hard on the table to settle any air pockets.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread pulls away slightly from the edges of the pan and the top is golden. A toothpick inserted about 2 inches from the center will be clean or have a few moist crumbs when withdrawn (it may be tinted with berry juices).

7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Use the sides of the parchment paper to lift the cornbread out of the pan. Cut into squares.

Lisa Yockelson

Makes one 8-inch bread

Northern cornbreads are sweeter than Southern; where Southern are typically made without sugar, this Northern version is mixed with a modest amount. Buttermilk tenderizes and flavors cornbread in a wonderful way, but if it's not handy, stir 1 tablespoon plain distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity) into 1 cup whole milk, and set aside for 10 minutes to sour the milk. As for the cornmeal, try to find a stoneground variety; generally, the finer, more free-flowing cornmeal bakes into something more cake-like, while a coarser meal gives you an earthier corn flavor and grittier, sightly denser, texture. The batter is stirred together in a bowl (no mixer!) and can be prepared and in the pan by the time your oven comes up to temperature. Blueberries form juicy pockets of fruit in the golden cornbread.

Vegetable oil (for the pan)
cups yellow cornmeal
1cup all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking powder
¾teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
cup sugar
cups blueberries, picked over for stems, washed, and dried
1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
1cup buttermilk
5tablespoons butter, melted and cool but still liquid

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Use a small amount of oil to rub the inside of an 8-inch baking pan. Line it with two 8-by-12-inch strips of parchment paper, one going one way, the other perpendicular to it. Press the paper into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

2. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar to blend them.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg and extra yolk, buttermilk, and melted butter.

4. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and toss lightly. Pour in the buttermilk mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold the batter gently, picking up batter from the bottom so all the flour is moistened, until it forms a slightly lumpy mixture.

5. Scrape the batter into the baking pan and spread it evenly, smoothing the top. Tap the pan once hard on the table to settle any air pockets.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread pulls away slightly from the edges of the pan and the top is golden. A toothpick inserted about 2 inches from the center will be clean or have a few moist crumbs when withdrawn (it may be tinted with berry juices).

7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Use the sides of the parchment paper to lift the cornbread out of the pan. Cut into squares.Lisa Yockelson