CARIBBEAN CORNBREAD

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When I was a child, my grandmother would make cornbread once in a while. I loved it. Of course it was liberally spread with home churned butter, so what’s not to like, right? But this was very plain cornbread and definitely not sweet. (Well it wasn’t sweet until my grandmother poured maple syrup all over it, that is.) And all my adult life, I baked cornbread for my family too. And if it had any sugar in at all, it was only a very small amount.

But in researching a cornbread to serve with other Caribbean dishes, I found most of the recipes to contain a fair amount of sugar, including this wonderful recipe from Blanchard’s Restaurant on Anguilla Island, British West Indies. But compared with other recipes I perused, even with the crushed pineapple, there was less sugar than in most.

Now something you should know – I don’t like canned pineapple. (Don’t much care for fresh pineapple either, if truth be told!) But this recipe received such good reviews, I just had to give it a try. And oh am I glad I did. You really can’t taste the pineapple, but it adds not only sweetness, but moisture and texture to the final product which is very desirable in a good cornbread. I served the cornbread to guests, and everyone loved it. In fact one of the guests told me it was the best cornbread she ever tasted and asked if she could take some home. Which of course she did.

Now that I have tasted this cornbread, regardless of the fact that it contains sugar and pineapple, it is now the house brand, so to speak. It is just too good to be true. Plus it freezes beautifully, so you can make it ahead, and freeze it until needed. (I suggest a double batch, because you are going to want more of this even before you finish the first pan.)

So go Caribbean on your family and friends, and fix them some of this cornbread to go along with Caribbean Pork Stew over basmati rice. (The stew recipe and rice recipe are on the site already.) Your family and friends will love you for it. And for dessert, vanilla ice cream topped with Caribbean Rum-Raisin Ice Cream Sauce – also on this site. And regardless of what you learned as a child, play with your food. Don’t like pork in your stew, use chicken. Don’t like basmati rice, use brown rice. Don’t like rum, forget the whole meal and go to McDonalds. (Just kidding.) Serve the ice cream with a chocolate sauce instead. People in the Caribbean like chocolate too, or so I’m told. Will let you know when I return from Belize.

  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 2 T. baking powder (yes tablespoons!)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ c. canned cream-style corn
  • ½ c. canned crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add corn, pineapple, and cheese; mix to blend. On low speed, add flour mixture and mix until well blended.

Pour batter into a butter and floured 9-inch glass* baking pan. Bake in a pre-heated 325 oven for 1 hour or until golden brown around the edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

*You can use a metal pan but glass works better. If you have to use metal, bake at 350 degrees and start watching after 45 minutes.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks