When I got the November issue of Bon Appétit in the mail, there were a bunch of recipes calling my name.
Starting with this one.
I’d never made spoon bread, had never even eaten any, and wasn’t entirely sure what it was. But I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt I would love it. Seriously, how could you NOT love something called spoon bread. It made me think soft-spongy-pudding, something anyone over the age of zero is attracted to. There’s no yeast and no chemical leaveners, with the only rising coming from warm air trapped in the tiny lacy openings of the whipped egg whites. So it’s kind of like a soufflé, but a little heavier.
The first time I made it was for a dinner party. We’d invited our new neighbors over to talk kitchen designs (they’re both architects and our kitchen and eating area aka dining room needs serious help) and took a chance the recipe would work out. It was a solid hit. Then I tweaked it just a bit by adding some applesauce and took it to a pot luck. I’m making it again this week, and plan to serve it to friends coming to dinner in a couple of weeks (consider yourself warned, Lynda!). I’ve been spoon bread deprived, and need to make up for all those lost years of not having any.
- 2½ cups low-fat milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup corn flour
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped chives
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9" X 5" loaf pan.
- Bring the milk, butter, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the liquid comes to a simmer, whisk in the corn flour. As it thickens, remove it from the heat. This should take about two minutes. Continue whisking and add the pumpkin purée and apple sauce. Cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, chives, and spices together.
- Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Whisk the corn flour into the egg yolks. Fold in the egg whites in thirds.
- Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake until the spoon bread is set and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 40 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving. It will continue to set up as it cools.