Corn is a great food for human beings. Unfortunately, many cornbread recipes contain cow’s milk and lots of fat. Some of the low-fat vegan cornbread recipes produce a product that is too dry. This recipe makes cornbread with a golden brown crust (thanks to the sugar and the cast-iron pan) and a moist and tender crumb, thanks to the applesauce.
Many recipes for low-fat baked goods call for applesauce. The pectin in the applesauce coats the starch grains, just as fat would. But who keeps applesauce on hand? I certainly don’t. You can buy applesauce in a jar, but then you have to worry about using it all up before it goes bad. You also have to recycle the empty jar. I find it easier to start with an apple. I zap it in the microwave then put it through a food mill.
I bake my cornbread in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. A properly seasoned cast-iron pan is naturally nonstick, so you do not have to grease the food to get it to slide out of the pan. When you use cast-iron bakeware, let it preheat in the oven. Give it plenty of time to come up to the proper temperature before you put in the batter.
1 medium-sized baking apple
1 cup whole wheat flour (or a gluten-free flour substitute)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon EnerG egg replacer powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat plain soymilk (or other low-fat nondairy milk)
Preheat oven and a seasoned cast-iron skillet or equivalent muffin pan to 400°F. If you don’t have cast-iron bakeware, you can use an 8-inch square pan. Use nonstick bakeware so you do not have to grease it.
Poke holes in the apple and microwave it until it is very soft. Allow the apple to cool enough to be handled. Cut it in half and remove the seeds, then put the flesh through a fine food mill. If you do not have a food mill, you could simply scrape the flesh of the apple into a blender or food processor and puree it or simply scrape it into a bowl and mash it really well. Put the apple puree into a measuring cup and add enough water to make ¾ cup.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them thoroughly. Add the applesauce and soymilk and mix until everything is moistened. Pour the mixture into the hot cast-iron skillet or cornbread mold. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife blade or cake tester inserted into the cornbread comes out clean.
Photo by tristanf