Author Notes: A local restaurant wouldn’t give up their recipe for vegan cornbread; I decided to take things in the opposite direction. —Rochelle Bilow
Makes: 1 9×9 pan
tablespoons bacon fat, reserved from 6 strips smoked bacon
pieces smoked bacon, cooked
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
cup light brown sugar
cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- First, cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat. Don’t crank the heat too high. Slower cooking ensures that you render more fat from the strips of meat; this is good. Drain the bacon on paper towels and reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat. (If this is does not yield enough fat, you may supplement it with vegetable oil.) If you have extra bacon fat, lightly coat a 9” by 9” pan with it. If you do not, use butter to coat the pan.
- While the bacon cooks, stir together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Mix together the maple syrup, eggs and milk, using a fork to break apart and beat the eggs. Add the bacon grease in a slow stream – adding a hot liquid to the mixture all at once will scramble the eggs – and beat to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir gently a few times with a spatula to combine evenly. Crumble the bacon strips and add into the batter, stirring to combine. Pour the batter into the greased pan and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 35 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown, the edges pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool, then cut into squares.