I meant to post this recipe during the Thanksgiving holiday season, but since it has long passed might as well go into the other holiday season. Christmas.
We ended up at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving, a close friend of ours Alanna and Arlo. They have had us over at their house for the past couple of years, along with a great handful of other friends. It’s really fun, and always jam-packed with different nibbles and sides galore. So the challenge was what to bring this year?
This wasn’t procrastination, instead it was another moment of playing “Hey whats in my pantry?”, maybe it was both. Alanna usually masters the turkey and invites a hoard of folks over with their favorite sides. This year was a bit more mellow, so I came with three dishes. One of the dishes was a carrot, green bean and walnut salad with browned butter, the other was a little gem salad with watermelon radish apples tossed with a lemony tarragon and blue cheese dressing, and this little one; a blue corn and cranberry upside down skillet bread. Think of it like your average savory cornbread mixed with an upside down cake. I happened to have some blue corn on hand. It’s been hiding in a dark corner in my pantry waiting for me to use it, and what a perfect time to do so. I didn’t have enough cranberries to make a sauce, plus the hostess already made a really great fig and cranberry one, so there you go an impromptu side. It’s nice, slightly tart from the cranberries, slightly sweet, buttery, and savory. I really suggest the coarse cornmeal for these type of recipes because they just have a better texture, the crunch is a little more interesting.
I could imagine this recipe being really great with fresh herbs lightly sautéed into the cranberries right before the batter is even spooned over, right before being plopped into the oven. I used a coarse heirloom corn variety that I got from the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s market. I can’t remember the name but it’s the stall where the lady sells her pepper jams, and beans…towards the middle back…can you help me? Anyways, I’ve been wanting to use this for a while and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Hmm…this would also be really nice with citrus on the bottom…stop me now.
For this recipe I have replaced the coarse blue cornmeal with coarse yellow cornmeal. It’s just easier to get, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill because it’s pretty much available at most markets. I also used chickpea flour in the same amount, but regular AP flour works just fine.
Cranberry Upside down Skillet Cornbread
- 2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal –
- 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour – or chickpea flour if you can get it
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 stick butter – melted
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/8th teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°.
For the first part of this recipe combine the dry ingredients; cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, etc. Mix all ingredients together, to well incorporate. Then add the wet ingredients into the same bowl; buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, water. Using any type of utensil that you need, incorporate dries and wets together to form a batter. Let sit.
Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet, combine cranberries, olive oil, sugar and salt, cook on medium to medium low heat until cranberries have softened and skins have blistered.
Pour/spoon batter over cranberries and spread evenly. Lightly drizzle edges of pan with olive oil and place in oven while skillet is still hot.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.