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Tis the season where every recipe you know magically turns into a pumpkin. This Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread is moist and flavorful and perfect for Fall.
Since it’s fall and people can’t seem to get enough pumpkin recipes in their life I thought I would throw my hat in the ring with a cast iron pumpkin cornbread recipe. To make this pumpkin cornbread unique I wanted to prepare it on the grill and I wanted to serve it with a bourbon maple butter. Using cast iron over hot coals really gives the cornbread a great outer crust and creates a fantastic moist center.
Hey, if you want to spend the extra time mixing the dry ingredients and measuring a dash of this and a pinch of that go right ahead. Me, I’m hungry and would rather spend my time eating rather than bragging about how good my cornbread mix is. Jiffy cornbread mix is like a buck a box and tastes as good as any homemade mix I’ve tried so I’m not ashamed, hell im proud to admit I use it in my recipes. If however you enjoy measuring things here is a classic Cornbread mix that you can make yourself (click here)
The long running debate in my family has always been if cornbread should be sweet or savory. My mother famously refuses to call any cornbread with sugar in it cornbread and spitefully refers to sweet cornbread as “corn cake”. I myself as a milk toast fence sitter thing that a slight sweetness is a nice addition but wouldn’t go full blown sweet. This pumpkin cornbread recipe is a perfect balance of the subtle sweetness in the pumpkin with a very small amount of molasses just to give the recipe a slight sweet flavor without tasting like a dessert. If you lean towards the savory side you can omit the molasses. If you are a fan of sweet cornbread might I suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream right on top of the hot pumpkin cornbread dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
one of the keys to preventing your cornbread from sticking is to put a tablespoon of butter in each skillet and let the pans preheat along with the oven. once the cornbread batter is ready and the oven comes up to temperature brush the melted butter along the sides of the skillet before pouring the cornbread mix into the hot skillet. This will give you a golden exterior and prevent the cornbread from sticking.
This recipe can be made in a number of different containers. you can make individual muffins or use an 8x8 baking dish and cut the pumpkin cornbread into squares. the cooking time may vary so keep a close eye while you're baking. the easiest way to check if the pumpkin cornbread is done is to use a toothpick. place the toothpick into the center of the cornbread. The cornbread is done id=s the toothpick comes out clean. if it still has some uncooked batter on it just continue cooking for a few more minutes and check again.
The key to good cornbread of any kind is making sure to preheat the pan before adding the batter. Grease the cast iron pan with a tablespoon of butter before pouring in the batter to create a crispier crust as well as to prevent sticking. Since we are grilling this cornbread I think using wood chips is a great way to impart a light smokiness. Soak a handful of wood chips for 30 minutes before adding on top of the hot coals.
I use smaller personal size cast iron pans so I can place a few of the pumpkin cornbreads on the table. This makes it easier for everyone to help themselves. The individual pans cook faster and also tend to cook more evenly. If you prefer one large skillet that works too. You’ll need to cook the recipe about 7-10 minutes longer and may want to rotate the pan to not overcook one side of the cornbread.
Every good cornbread needs a soft spreadable butter to slather on and what better way to kick it up than with bourbon and maple syrup. Make sure to set out the butter long before you start the recipe so it can completely soften before preparing the recipe. You can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe depending on your preference. I prefer salted butter because I think the balance of salty and sweet always gives the final product a better flavor. If you don’t want to cook with alcohol you can omit the bourbon or replace it with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
In a small saucepan heat bourbon and maple syrup over medium heat. Stir frequently until the maple syrup mixture is bubbling and begins to thicken. About 3-5 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Fold maple syrup mixture into softened butter and whip until smooth and creamy.