Michael and I cook in our heirloom cookware every night! This particular recipe was prepared in My Great Grandmother English's Cast Iron Corn Stick Mold which is over 150 years old.
Great Grandmother English’s Cast Iron Corn Sticks
2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
1 cup cornmeal (yellow or white)
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons Bacon Drippings or melted shortening
1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Grease two (7-cavity) corn stick pans with 1 tablespoon of shortening or oil per pan. Place the greased pans in the hot oven to preheat for about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add buttermilk, egg and melted shortening (or vegetable oil). Stir just until the batter comes together; do not over-mix.
3. Carefully remove the hot corn stick pans from the oven. Fill each cavity with batter. Bake until slightly brown on top, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from pans immediately.
4. If you have extra batter, you can grease one of the hot pans and bake another batch of corn sticks to use up the leftover batter.
· Use a finely-ground or medium ground cornmeal. Coarse cornmeal will give the sticks a more grainy texture.
· Whole buttermilk (not low-fat) yields the best texture and flavor.
· Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes before baking, if you have the time. This allows the baking powder to activate and incorporate more air.
· Don’t over-mix the batter or it will become too dense, and you'll end up with dry cornbread sticks.
· The corn sticks are done when the tops are golden brown (the underside of the sticks will be darker and crispier since those sides are in contact with the hot pan). Don't cook them for too long, or they can dry out or burn.
· Since this recipe yields enough batter for about 18 corn sticks, you will likely have some extra batter leftover after baking two pans full of 7 sticks each. If you'd like to use the extra batter after the first batch is done, just grease one of the hot pans with additional oil and bake a final batch of corn sticks.