Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Corn Light Bread

My mother's family has passed down a recipe for a Middle Tennessee favorite: Corn Light Bread. For those of you who aren't familiar with Tennessee, the state flag has three stars on it, each representing one of the three smaller "states" of Tennessee. In other words, Tennessee is divided into three secions, East, Middle, and West, each having its own distinct culture. For some reason, Middle Tennessee developed this unique form of corn bread, which is cooked in a loaf pan and has a texture somewhat like a sweet bread.

If you'd like to try a bit of Tennessee history, here's the recipe for Corn Light Bread:

2 cups of corn meal -- self-rising (If you don't have self-rising meal, add 1 tspn salt and 1tspn soda to plain meal)
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon yesast
2 cups buttermilk
2 or 3 Tablespoons melted shortening

Mix the ingredients. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes at 375 degrees. Check it at least once toward the end to make sure it's not cooking too long. Be careful not to shake the bread if you open the oven door.

While you have the buttermilk out to make corn light bread, why not try another Tennessee favorite: Buttermilk Pie? You never thought you would use the words buttermilk and pie in the same phrase, did you? But, trust me. It tastes delicious. It is very much like chess pie, only not so rich and artery clogging. Again, this is a family recipe.

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 heaping Tablesppon flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick melted margarine

Pour in pie shell. Make sure that you have pricked the pie shell four or five times with a fork so taht it will not puff up into the filling.

Pake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. You may want to place a pie crust shield over the edges of the crust for at least part of the baking time.


1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thanks for the origin of this delicious cornbread. My grandmother , from West TN made this. I always wondered the origin of this recipe. Discovering its Middle Tn roots has enlightened me about her, whose last known residence was Davidson Co! So thi recipe must've come from that " side of the house."
This Grandmother's favorite recipe for cornbread was "regular" cornbread w/out sugar or flour. Living in the North, I find people from here are not fans of my Grandmother's "regular" cornbread but love the Corn Light version.