I woke up on Thanksgiving morning thinking about cornbread. That, and of course all the things I am grateful for: Wonderful supportive family, cute dog, good health, a benevolent universe and a life of abundance. And coffee. And cornbread.
I had both purple corn flour and yellow cornmeal. I mused aloud on Facebook about whether the two mixed together would make green cornbread. Luckily my friend Lari Robling, food expert and author of the cookbook Endangered Recipes saw the post and suggested I do a swirly thing instead of a straight mix to avoid the possiblity of having the appearance of moldy cornbread. Genius!
So, all in the name of silliness, I embarked on the creation of a marbled cornbread. I like my cornbread on the sweet side, and I remembered hearing a former colleague speak fondly of his mom's banana cornbread, so I decided to give it a try. You can remove the banana and double the sugar below if you don't want to do the banana thing. Or you can add banana and reduce the sugar based on your taste. My version was sweet but not too desserty, and was just right and appropriately festive for our small nuclear family Thanksgiving feast.
Gluten-free Marbled Banana Cornbread
To make this marbled in appearance, you will essentially be making two batches of cornbread batter in separate bowls then doing the swirling in the baking pan before you put it in the oven.
1/2 cup gluten-free yellow cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Cornmeal)
1/2 cup blue or purple cornmeal or corn flour (I used Zocalo Gourmet Purple Corn Flour)
1 cup gluten-free flour blend of your choice (I used Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 medium banana
2 large eggs
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or you can use regular milk or a different milk substitute)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an 8"X8" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Put the yellow cornmeal and blue corn flour in separate, medium-sized mixing bowls. In a third bowl, combine the gf flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and xantham gum and mix thoroughly. Add half of it to the yellow cornmeal and the other half to the blue corn flour.
In yet another mixing bowl, mash the banana, add the eggs, almond milk and butter and mix well. Pour half of it into the yellow cornmeal mixture and half into the blue corn flour mixture. Combine each thoroughly. Because the batter will be pretty runny, be sure to have both batches completely mixed and ready to pour into the baking pan at the same time.
Pour the yellow mixture into one half of the baking pan and the blue into the other half. To do the marbling, drag a spatula in wide stripes through the batter a couple of times until you reach your desired level of swirliness. Resist the urge to over-swirl, lest you over-mix and end up with a gray-green cornbread final product.
Bake the cornbread for 30-35 minutes, until the yellow part is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Eat it warm before the rest of Thanksgiving dinner is ready. Oh, I guess you don't have to do that. I did. It was delicious and pretty and it made me very happy.
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