For whatever reason I have been thinking about making pumpkin cornbread for a long time. I can't even remember where I got the idea, but I have been holding on to a can of canned pumpkin with the intent of making some cornbread forever now. Christmas was the perfect opportunity to finally make it because cornbread sounded like the perfect accompaniment for the Roast Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce that I was planning on making. Actually, there is a little backstory to the duck. I was originally planning on making an Andrea Reusing recipe (Roast Moulard Duck with Kumquats and Salt-Cured Chiles), but after hitting 8 grocery stores in two days on the UWS and UES in search of kumquats (including both Fairways, Zabars, Citarella, Dean and Deluca, Whole Foods, Food Emporium and West Side Market) I had to admit defeat. The only kumquats I found were at D&D and they were both ridiculously expensive and squishy, which freaked me out. So I decided to change plans in the middle of the UES Fairway and make my back-up duck recipe. Of course I hit one more grocery store that day after Fairway and low and behold, Eli's had fresh kumquats. Once I made that discovery I sent Alex a text with some four-letter words because by that point I had called an audible and switched recipes. Oh well. But in the end it was a good thing that I switched recipes because this cornbread would not have gone quite as well with the other duck recipe. The interesting thing about this cornbread is that the cinnamon and nutmeg carry through so clearly. I didn't really taste the pumpkin, but I tasted a whole lot of pumpkin pie-like spices and that was kind of enough for me. Served with some homemade honey butter this was an interesting take on cornbread. I'm not sure under what circumstances and with what dish I would make this cornbread again (maybe some sort of chili), but I'm glad I made it this time.
P.S. I thought I took pictures of the cornbread, but apparently I forgot to do so when we had it for dinner. And then I threw away the few remaining pieces of the cornbread prior to finishing this post. Oops. No pictures for you - just think golden, slightly orange (and not yellow) cornbread and you're halfway there.
Recipe after the jump!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal (either yellow or white, although we used white)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
scant 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
generous 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ancho chile powder
generous 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 8 x 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serve with honey butter.