This recipe is a version of the corn bread that Anacostia resident Levita Mondie-Sapp's mother, Diane Moore Mondie, taught her how to make as a young girl in Memphis. Her mother's included lard, eggs, whole milk and processed flour. In response to illness within Mondie-Sapp's family and among African Americans in general, she experimented with substitute ingredients.
This batter can be mixed in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container; if you do so, bring it to room temperature before baking. For best results, bake just before serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a resealable plastic food storage bag.
Serve warm, with a butter substitute such as Earth Balance spread.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 4 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw brand
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups plain low-fat soy milk or rice milk, such as Edensoy or Rice Dream brand
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the canola oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet and heat the skillet in the oven until the oil is hot (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and swirl around so that the oil coats the skillet bottom and sides; set aside. Or while the oil is heating, you can work really fast to mix the corn bread before the oil starts to smoke or gets too hot.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large measuring cup or bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the applesauce and milk (if using rice milk, start with 1 cup). Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the dry ingredients into the wet mix. Carefully add the heated oil from the skillet; the mixture will bubble a bit. Mix well.
Pour the warm batter into the hot, oiled skillet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
From Levita D. Mondie-Sapp.
Tested by Adrienne Cook.
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