As you may or may not remember, I finally made my way down to North Carolina this past summer to visit my cousin Ashley and her fiance Evan. I came back missing my cousin more than ever (isn’t it funny how seeing someone after a few years actually makes missing them worse?) and also missing something new– quality southern cooking.
I have never had barbecue quite like I had in North Carolina, where the meat was so tender it literally melted in your mouth and the sauce was so absolutely perfect that it took a certain level of restraint not to turn my plate into a pool of BBQ soup. I have never had okra and green tomatoes so flavorful and perfectly fried, or hushpuppies so… well, actually, those are the only hushpuppies I’ve ever had so I don’t have much to compare to, but now I really need to figure out where I can get more. But what really blew me (and James, Ashley, and Evan) away most of all was the Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread.
So, as per usual, I decided that I had to figure out how to make it myself. North Carolina is just slightly too far to drive to every time I have a cornbread craving.
This was really easy to put together (surprisingly, because I have little to no experience making cornbread before), and it’s perfect for your Thanksgiving table or to accompany any fall meal. I chose to make this in a skillet in order to keep it as similar as possible to the actual restaurant version I tried, but you can also make this in a muffin tin if you’d like individual, easy-to-serve portions!
Make this flavorful Skilled Pumpkin Cornbread with Cinnamon Maple Butter for your next fall feast or Thanksgiving dinner. Inspired by The Pit Authentic BBQ Restaurant in Raleigh, NC, this is as good as it gets!
For the Pumpkin Cornbread:
- 1 ¼ cups corn meal
- 1 cup (~ 5 oz) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup (about 1 ¾ oz sugar)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Cinnamon Maple Butter:
- 2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree until well combined. Then, slowly stir in the dry ingredients.
- Place the butter in a skillet and place in the preheated oven for a minute, or until the butter melts. Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter in. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula.
- Bake until golden, about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes and then cut.
- As the cornbread cools, prepare the butter.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat all of the butter ingredients until smooth.
- Taste and add more cinnamon if desired.
- Transfer the butter to a container and chill until ready to use.
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