This old Southern take on cornbread is a crisp, lacy brown wafer best enjoyed a few seconds after it leaves the skillet. The thin batter spatters and sputters the second it hits the hot pan—that’s how the lace is formed. This pretty cornbread was popular in the early twentieth century. Southern kitchens had all the ingredients on hand, and the wafers were inexpensive to make. It’s worth the patience to cook them one at a time. Serve them with soup for lunch, with greens at supper, or with preserves as a sweet snack.
1/2 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bacon drippings
How to Make It
Combine cornmeal, salt, and 3⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl.
Heat 1 heaping Tbsp. bacon drippings in a cast-iron skillet over medium- low heat. When drippings are shimmering (the sign that they’re hot), very carefully add 2 Tbsp. batter to hot pan. Gently spread batter from center outward. (The batter will immediately look lacy and bubbly.) Cook 3 minutes or until edges are brown. Turn and cook 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining batter, adding more drippings to pan as needed.
Around the Southern Table
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