It’s debatable where spoon bread first originated, though it is known where the world’s best spoon bread is served: right here in Kentucky at the Boone Tavern in Berea. This spoon bread has been drawing crowds to the Boone Tavern for over 60 years.
3 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) cornmeal (white corn meal if you can find it)
3 eggs at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 375. In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk to the boil. Then, while stirring, add the corn meal in a steady stream (if you’ve ever made polenta, you’ll recognize this process). Take the pan off the heat and set it aside, allowing the mixture to cool to room temperature. It will be very cold and firm at that point. Be not dismayed. Put the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer, add the beaten eggs, melted butter, salt and baking powder. Beat at medium speed for 15 minutes. Pour into a buttered casserole or 9″ cake round, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve at the table, straight from the pan.
This can be done by hand as well. In that case, add pieces of the cooked corn meal cake to the eggs steadily until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat the well for about ten minutes.