Old-Fashioned Spoon Bread
Spoon bread is like a Southern mashup of cornbread and Yorkshire pudding — it’s a bread so creamy, so buttery, so moist, you need a spoon to serve it up. (Hence the name. Though you may have also heard it called corn casserole or corn pudding.) The version you see here has cakier inclinations but is still super light, spongy, and utterly irresistible.
Like a lot of American fare, spoon bread has Native American origins: although the food histories are a bit murky, it’s said to have evolved from awendaw (or owendaw), a similar, pudding-like dish of hominy grits and cornmeal that shares its name with an area of the South Carolina Lowcountry once inhabited by the indigenous Sewee people. In fact, the first published version of the recipe bears the title “Owendaw Cornbread,” in the 1847 cookbook The Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge.
Spoon bread has been a culinary mainstay of Virginia, Kentucky, and the Carolinas ever since, and chefs and home cooks have created numerous variations on its corny theme with additions like cheese, chiles, and even chorizo. This recipe, however, is all about the corn. It calls for not only cornmeal, but also frozen corn and creamed corn — a trifecta of sweet, starchy goodness. The creamed corn also works wonders with both sour cream and a stick and change of butter to make the crumb as rich and airy as can be. It’s a delightful juxtaposition to the delicate, vegetal crunch of the whole kernels.
Spoon bread is a great side dish for your more everyday dinners — especially when you’re craving an extra helping of comfort food. Serve it alongside buttermilk fried chicken and stewed mustard greens, and you will not be disappointed. (That said, we would totally eat spoon bread for dessert; it’s really that sweet and creamy.)
Our tip: Spoon bread can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. To reheat it, cover your baking dish with foil and slide it in a 300° oven until it’s warmed through, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Servings: 6 to 8
Old-Fashioned Spoon Bread
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 2-quart or 8x8” baking dish with butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together 8 Tbsp of the melted unsalted butter, creamed corn, and thawed corn kernels.
Add the sour cream and eggs, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the top is golden brown, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes. Brush the spoon bread with the remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter.
Serve warm or at room temperature. The spoon bread may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from: Once Upon a Chef