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Apple Cheese Skillet Cornbread

This traditional cornbread recipe with a twist is the perfect addition to your holiday meal. Made with green apples and cheddar cheese, it has a little more flavor than the original version.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Author Wanda Simone

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese or 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425 F
  • Peel, core and dice the granny smith apple.
  • Grate the cheese.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg with a whisk.
  • Then use the whisk to combine the milk with the egg.
  • Add the milk and egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave
  • Add the butter, grated cheddar cheese and diced apples into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • Add the shortening to the cast iron skillet and melt it in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Notes

  • A cast iron skillet is the secret ingredient to making the best cornbread. Regular baking pans won't get the edges to be as crispy as they should be. Fortunately, cast iron frying pans aren't very expensive so there's no excuse not to get one. 
  • Avoid buying pre-grated cheddar cheese. It has an additive in it that prevents the cheese from sticking together in the bag. This also prevents it from combining properly with the cornbread.
  • Using an apple peeler and apple corer / slicer makes quick work of getting the apples ready.
  • A fork can be used instead of a whisk for beating the egg and milk
  • Once the liquids and flour mixture have been combined, stir as little as possible to prevent the cornbread from getting too heavy.
  • Make sure to heat the cast iron skillet in the oven before adding the batter to it. This will makes sure the edges of your cornbread are crunchy.
  • Also make sure not to touch the heated skillet handle with your bare hands...it will be hot!
Substitutions:
  • If you prefer sweet cornbread, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sugar with the cornmeal and flour mixture (before you add the liquids).
  • To make this recipe gluten free, substitute King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour for the all purpose flour. Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free but make sure that the type you bought isn't processed in plants that also make wheat products. Look for the Certified Gluten Free label to be absolutely sure.
  • If you prefer to use butter instead of shortening to coat the pan:
    • heat the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes
    • then add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the hot frying pan and swirl it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan
    • pour in the batter and cook as directed