A Mid-South side dish made with milk or buttermilk and corn meal, spoonbread is more the consistency of lightweight polenta or a fairly heavy soufflé than a bread loaf. It is pretty much a rarity in the 21st century South, except in restaurants that make a point of honoring culinary history. Our recipe is based on one in the Whole Grain Cookbook II, written by Zoe Medlin Caywood of the War Eagle Mill in the Ozark Mountains. The mill produces corn meal, flour, rye, grits, and cereals and, on its top floor, serves meals in a restaurant called The Bean Palace.
1 cup white cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1-1/3 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups hot milk
Mix the cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Add butter. Pour in the boiling water, stirring constantly. Allow this mixture to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2-quart casserole.
When the meal is cool, beat the eggs with the baking powder until very light and fluffy. Add this to the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the milk, mix thoroughly, and pour into the prepared casserole.
Place the casserole in a shallow pan of hot water and bake 40 minutes.