Skillet Cornbread Recipe A Good Cornpone

Friends Drift Inn Farm Recipe

Cornbread recipe made in a cast iron skillet, Appalachian Cornpone


Appalachian Home Style Cornpone – Authentic Cornbread

I live in Appalachia. When Grandma passes away one of the first quarrels sure to break out is who gets the cast iron skillets. I have several. I am scrappy that way! Giggles

A Facebook friend recently confided she did not have cast iron skillets. I was stunned. I lead a sheltered life I guess. I thought everybody had at least one cast iron skillet. You cannot make cornbread without a cast iron skillet. You just can’t.

You don’t cut cornbread either. You will have bad luck! Cornpones should be served on a plate and passed around, each lucky recipient breaking off a chunk of golden goodness. It is symbolic of our tradition of sharing.

Soup Beans and Cornbread

To enjoy freshly baked crusty cornbread with just a little bit of moist crumbs scattering across pinto soup beans flavored with a smoked ham hock is to virtually link the past, present, and future together on an favorite dinner plate.

If you want to set off a firestorm of arguments with hillbilly cooks, just suggest adding flour or sugar to a cornbread recipe. Honey, you will never inherit the cast iron skillets with talk like that!

Charlie does not use flour for cornbread, but his momma did. Sometimes if the corn meal is really fresh, I confess I might add just a tablespoon or two but you do not need to spread that around! Wink!

I have my own ways with making cornbread. I make cornbread by sight and feel. Some grinds of cornmeal are softer than others; there are different moisture contents. The best cornmeal is fresh ground. Even here in the heart of Appalachia, fresh cornmeal is hard to get. I have a source and I ain’t sharing. Giggles

Get the freshest cornmeal you can. For ultimately fresh meal, grow a dent field corn and grind your own.

Chef Sean Brock suggests it will take about 1/4 pound of bacon fried, to produce enough bacon drippings for this recipe. Here in Appalachia, most cooks worth their salt keep a mason jar filled with bacon drippings on back of the stove. You never know when a little bacon grease will come in handy! The amount of bacon grease needed is subjective. If your cast iron skillet is well-seasoned you might not need as much as you would if using a new cast iron skillet.


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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.