Happy Easter! It is strolling around the block weather in Brooklyn today. For those heading to brunches and loved ones houses after church this afternoon, consider adding this Sweet Cornbread with Lavender Syrup to the menu. It is an unlikely pairing, but the soothing and woodsy lavender syrup mimics what honey does for biscuits. The lavender aroma instantly fills your kitchen as the buds steep. For a few seconds, I teleported to a Thai day spa and I was surrounded by the scent of burning lavender oil. Cornbread brings comfort. It made sense to match it with a relaxing flower.
The cornbread is subtly. I used condensed milk instead of sugar in the batter. The condensed milk adds an extra dose of milk and a little bit of sweetness. With a drizzle of the lavender syrup, it gives you the ability to control the sugar.
Fresh corn is cut right from the cob to create body and texture in each slice. I recommend baking the cornbread in a cast iron skillet to guarantee a crispy golden crust. When you cut into the corn bread you get a pillowy inside with a thin layer of crunch on the outside. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, the cornbread can transform into corn muffins if you bake it in a muffin tins.
If you have extra lavender syrup left, add a scoop to your morning tea or coffee. Try it on toast with ricotta cheese and lemon zest. You can use it in place of simple syrup in your favorite cocktail or sweeten plain yogurt topped with mixed berries for a midday snack.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1½ cup All purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 ear of corn, shucked
- 1 cup of milk
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 1 cup white sugar
- Preheat oven to 375F
- In a medium (10 inch) cast iron skillet heat to medium and melt butter. Add the corn kernels to saute for about 8 minutes. Corn and butter may turn slightly golden brown as the milk solid start to cook. When the corn is cooked, pour into a heat safe bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl - cornmeal, AP flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk, condensed milk, and orange zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix in the corn with butter into the batter.
- Add the batter back to the skillet which should already be greased from the butter.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the crust is brown around the edge.
- While the cornbread is baking, steep the lavender in for 10 minutes in the boiling water.
- Strain the lavender tea. Pour the tea into a small sauce pan with the white sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a low boil for 30 minutes stirring occasionally to reduce crystallization on the sides of the the pan. The mixture will reduce in volume by half. Once it thickens remove from the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
- Drizzle syrup over the warm cornbread!