sour cream cornbread with aleppo

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Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
Adapted, barely, from Red Rooster Harlem via Marcus Samuelsson

If my archives are any indication, I am on a constant hunt for my Cornbread Nirvana. I’ve made Yankee cornbread (sweet, cake-like), Southern cornbread (nominal sugar, with a cast-iron skillet crunchy edges) and even my own bastardized version (goat cheese, caramelized onions) but this one is different. There’s no butter or lard in it. There’s very little buttermilk but a lot of sour cream. There’s a bit of sugar, but only enough to balance the salt and heat. It’s as good toasted with honey and butter as it is with spicier fare, like chili, and it makes a really fun addition to your weekend scrambled eggs. So is this it? I’m not positive, but I liked it enough that I plan to make it six or seven more times, just to think real hard about it. What I’m trying to say is, it’s addictive.

Aleppo is a Turkish bright red pepper flake with a mild-to-moderate kick and a bit of tartness. I bought mine from Penzey’s in Grand Central. If you don’t have aleppo, a regular red pepper flake, cayenne or hot paprika, in a much smaller quantity, would be a nice substitution.

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (145 grams) yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoon (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried aleppo flakes
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Generously butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo and salt together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk and olive oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing until just barely combined. Spread the batter in your prepared and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Serve in slices, toasted with honey butter or salted and honeyed brown butter.

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