Saturday, September 15, 2012

New England spider cake

This is a new one for me. I was intrigued by its description in the New York Times Cookbook, and I had all the ingredients on hand--and you know I'm a sucker for anything cooked in a cast-iron skillet. Plus, I used up the last of the cornmeal.

The finished product is part cornbread cake, part cream cake, part spoonbread cake. There's a fascinating range of flavors and textures, from the cream in the middle to the crackly crust. And it's really easy to throw together.

I could definitely eat this for breakfast, maybe with some fruit, and feel totally healthy and justified for doing so.

2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside to sour. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk the eggs into the soured milk, then stir into the dry ingredients to combine.

Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet. Pour in the batter. Pour the cream into the center of the batter; do not stir. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. The center should still be bouncy when you remove it from the oven. Let cool 5 minutes, then slice and serve warm.

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