Marcia Kiesel studs corn bread with sweet, chewy figs and salty feta. Baking it in a cast-iron skillet gives it a delicious crusty bottom.
Cooking with Corn
1 1/2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 small, plump dried Black Mission figs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup crumbled French feta cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. Heat a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs; pour over the dry ingredients and mix gently. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the figs, feta and melted butter.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom and halfway up the side. Scrape the batter into the skillet and lightly smooth the top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the corn bread springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Invert the corn bread onto a rack and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn it right side up. Cut the corn bread into wedges and serve.
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