Don’t be scared off by the name of this delicious cornbread variety; “spider” comes from the name of a type of three-legged skillet the bread was traditionally baked in (though any cast-iron skillet will do). Spider cornbread is prepared with rich milk, which gives the bread a custard-like middle layer. It's a favorite dish of the Southern Shorelines region, and is typically served with pinto beans – a hearty side that pairs well with the area’s famous fried fish.
- 1 cup white cornmeal (Prof. Wanda Dodson uses unsifted stone ground)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup rich milk (Dodson uses half & half)
- 1/4 cup water
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Beat the egg and combine with 1 cup milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
- Heat a lump of butter in an iron skillet and add batter. Over this pour the combined rich milk and water. Do not stir. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Cut into pie-shaped wedges and serve piping hot.
Note: Prof. Wanda Dodson melts 2 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. The bottom crust is light brown and tender. To brown the top, she turns the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes. Serve as a side dish with a regular meal. Also makes a good breakfast dish served with honey or sorghum.
Kentucky State Resort Parks 1978
(Adapted by Prof. Wanda Dodson)