This starter, one of the most popular offerings at Boone Tavern, which has featured the specialty for more than 60 years, is a creamy-centered cornbread pudding that rises like a souffle.
Boone Tavern’s Spoonbread
This creamy-centered cornbread pudding rises like a soufflé.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 tbsp. softened, 3 tbsp. melted)
3 cups milk
1 1⁄4 cups finely ground white cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. fine salt
2 eggs, well beaten
Grease a 9" round cake pan with some of the softened butter. Cut out a parchment paper circle to fit inside the pan, nestle it into the bottom, and grease the paper with the remaining softened butter. Set the prepared pan aside.
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, whisking occasionally, over high heat. While whisking, pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the cornmeal, for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to let the cornmeal mixture cool to room temperature.
Heat oven to 350°. Transfer the cornmeal mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the remaining butter, baking powder, salt, and eggs and mix on medium speed until uniform and aerated, about 15 minutes.
Pour cornmeal batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and puffy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Serve immediately.