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A good recipe isn't always a snap to make

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My latest issue of Cuisine at Home contains a very appealing recipe for a cornbread-blueberry coffee cake, and although it isn't exactly a snap to make, it would be well worth it, I think.

It involves three components: a batter, blueberry topping and a streusel. If you want to present a really good breakfast or brunch side dish based on cornbread, I can't think of anything better than this.

Of course you can leave the frills out and just make cornbread, which is usually welcome at the breakfast table on its own. But blueberries can be a nice fruity touch and it will remind your guests of blueberry muffins, another classic breakfast treat that we never tire of.

Cuisine at Home is a magazine that presents advertising-free cooking information that includes tips, recipes and general kitchen news. It would be a good magazine to subscribe to if you enjoy learning and trying new things, whether it be recipes or kitchen equipment or ingredients.

BLUEBERRY CORNBREAD

From Cuisine at Home

Ingredients:

Cornbread:

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup milk or buttermilk
4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil (corn is recommended)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon

1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Sour cream or creme fraiche for garnish

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare an iron skillet or round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cornbread. Set them aside.

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the streusel and pulse until they are mixed. Set this aside as well.

Beat together the milk and eggs. Add the butter and oil, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Lower the mixer speed to 1 or Fold and add the dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the baking dish. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes to firm it up slightly, and remove again from the oven.

Sprinkle the cornbread with the blueberries, followed by the streusel. Replace the pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it tests done. Remove the cornbread from the oven and set it on a stove burner to cool. Serve it warm with the sour cream or creme fraiche on the side.

If you are making something simple like scrambled eggs for a brunch, you can really dress them up with this cornbread as an accompaniment. I would buy my cornmeal anywhere in Tucson, but my first brand choice is Bob's Red Mill , which can be found in fine or coarse grind.

I also recommend corn oil for the oil component of this recipe for the marginal chance to intensify the corn flavor, rather than add a flavorless cooking oil. Those who want a stronger hint of the Southern roots of cornbread can experiment with using bacon grease for this ingredient, though I haven't tried that.

Another Southern touch, that is slightly hazardous so be careful, is to preheat your iron skillet in the oven after you turn it on. When you are ready for it, remove the skillet with a heavy oven glove or pot holder and move it to a stove burner. Transfer the batter into it and then proceed as usual.

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