Honey Sage Cornbread

The sage is flourishing in my garden – I can’t keep up with it. The long, velvety leaves inspired me to make something in which they would remain intact – sage cornbread, with whole leaves placed into the bottom of the pan before the batter is poured overtop.

I really really adore cornbread. It needs to be sweet, and so I generally make mine with honey or maple syrup – or sometimes brown sugar – and when I Googled the sage-cornbread combo I came up with a recipe that demanded to be made immediately. It did not disappoint.

Honey Sage Cornbread

adapted from Bon Appétit, November 2007

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped fresh sage plus 8-12 whole fresh sage leaves
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put a 9″ cast iron skillet into the oven as it preheats, or use a similar sized pie plate or cake pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and chopped sage. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, honey, and egg.

Remove skillet from and add 1/2 cup butter. Swirl until the butter is melted. Pour all except about 2 tablespoons of the butter into the egg mixture, stirring as you do so that the eggs don’t cook (the milk should be cold enough to cool it down). Lay the whole sage leaves onto the bottom of the skillet or pan.

Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined (do not overmix; batter will be wet and runny). Pour over sage leaves in skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate or platter and serve warm, in wedges. Serves 8-10.

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