Every time I make chili, black-eyed peas, smoked pork chops, roast turkey or fried chicken and collards, my family always expects a pan of cornbread at the table. It is the cornerstone of Southern Cuisine. My affection for cornbread has become a full-on love affair over the years. Every iteration keeps getting better and better.
The secret to a golden crust and fluffy middle is a well seasoned cast iron pan dripping in bacon fat. I keep a jar in the back of the fridge. It continuously gets added to after every brunch in our house. It’s a chef’s pot-of-gold.
The real secret to this treat is in the Jalapeño honey. Infusing the sticky, sweet, glaze with fresh peppers gives it just the right amount of kick. You should make it at least one day ahead of your cornbread to allow the full flavor profile to develop. Drizzle it on pancakes, use it to add sweetness to a marinade, or drip a little in your next cup of tea (without the butter) for some extra magic. The honey keeps for days on the counter and weeks in the fridge.
Start this cornbread in a skillet and finish it like a cake. Using a well seasoned cast iron is best, but this recipe will work in a standard baking dish (omitting the stovetop step). The jalapeño syrup will seal in the moisture and extend the cornbread’s shelf-life. Feel free to experiment with the recipe! Toss in ingredients like chives, bacon pieces, cooked chorizo, chiles, sun-dried tomatoes and other types of cheese to add a twist on the familiar.
JALAPENO HONEY CORNBREAD
A moist delicious skillet cornbread you will want to make with every Southern meal.