I was determined this week to a) defrost the freezer and b) to clear out the shelf in the cupboard where I keep all the different bags of flour, etc. With this spell of freezing weather in mind, I thought I could quickly take everything out, wrap it in newspaper, pop it into a cool bag, and place it in the garden for a short while – after all, the temperature is well below freezing outside at the moment. Well, I got as far as finding all the bags of blackberries that we had lovingly picked in the hedgerows last summer and knew I had to stop and make a preserve with them before I did anything else. I am not a fan of all the little fruit pips and so stewed the fruit gently until cooked then passed it all through a sieve. Equal quantities of strained juice to sugar, after boiling for less than 5 minutes, resulted in a wonderful thick fruity spread. Now I just need to find room for the filled jars!
My second attempt at spring cleaning also took a back seat when I found on the cupboard shelf a bag of polenta flour or fine cornmeal. I have to tell you that I hunted high and low for this product a couple of months ago to bake a special cake and managed to buy some, at enormous expense, only for the resulting confection to be a huge disappointment! The bag of flour has not been touched since.
So, determined to ‘use up’ rather than ‘throw out’, I remembered this cornbread recipe that I have been meaning to try for some time. Cornbread originates, I believe, from the States and so the measurements are in the easy volume or ‘cup’ format. Served warm from the oven, with my unctuous blackberry jam, it was a real treat. The defrosting and shelf-clearing can wait until tomorrow!
Golden Sweet Cornbread
1 cup plain flour
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)
Preheat oven to 400F/200C (slightly lower for fan ovens). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and oil and mix until well combined. Pour immediately into the prepared pan.
Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of the cornbread comes out clean.