Old-Fashioned Corn Pone Everyone Will Love

It may not be a food you eat on a regular basis, but this old-fashioned corn pone should be on your list of go-to recipes for many reasons. It's easy to make, and it tastes absolutely amazing. Why wouldn't you give it a try?

Don't feel bad if you have your doubts — even chef and recipe developer Carlos Leo of Spoonabilities approached corn pone with hesitancy. "I was a bit skeptical about this recipe, but it was terrific after I tried it." What is corn pone, anyway? The best way to answer that is instead to just tell you what a "pone" is. 

According to Your Dictionary, it's "a small loaf or cake made of corn." Yep. That's it. A little edible, starchy, and surprisingly delicious dish that's halfway between a pancake and a piece of cornbread where corn is the star and where all sorts of pairings are welcome, from sweets like syrup or jam to savories like gravy or a seafood stew.

Hungry yet? Great, then let's gather a few basic ingredients together and get cookin'.

Gather your ingredients for this old-fashioned corn pone recipe

You need all of four ingredients to make this old-fashioned corn pone, and one of those things is water. And there's a lot of flexibility when it comes to another of those ingredients. Traditionally, the recipe calls for cornmeal, sea salt, some boiling hot water, plus a generous amount of bacon drippings. But you can also use lard, butter, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil, the last two of which will make this dish plant-based.

While this dish is a delight on its own, note that for the most enjoyment, you will also want to pair your corn pone with some other dish. You can add something as simple as syrup or eat the pone on the side of a hearty soup or stew.

Pre-heat the oven and skillet and combine the old-fashioned corn pone ingredients

First things first: Pre-heat your oven to a blazing hot 475 degrees Fahrenheit for this old-fashioned corn pone recipe. Next, in a nine-inch round cast iron skillet (or as close in size as you have), add three tablespoons of bacon drippings, butter, or whatever you are using, then place the skillet in the oven to heat up.

Meanwhile, boil about two cups of water in your kettle or in a pot so that you'll have at least one cup on hand. Next, in a medium bowl, add the cornmeal and sea salt and mix to combine.

Now add the hot water and two tablespoons of bacon drippings to the cornmeal mixture, and mix well. Stir until the mixture forms a thick batter and there are no lumps. Now let the batter sit to rest until the skillet in the oven is smoking hot.

Form your old-fashioned corn pone patties

Mold four round, flat old-fashioned corn pone patties (using a 1/4 cup measure cup), shaping them with your hands, and then set the patties aside on a plate. Next, take the hot cast iron skillet out of the oven and carefully place the corn patties in the hot skillet. Spoon some of the bacon drippings on top of the corn patties, then pop the skillet back in the oven.

This step can be tricky because you're working with a really high heat. "I was a bit concerned about handling the hot cast iron skillet with oil and adding the batter," says Leo, "but it was easy." Just use good oven mitts and watch for splatters, and you'll be okay. Long sleeves and a rag for quick grease cleaning might be advised, though.

Flip, broil, and enjoy your old-fashioned corn pone

Let the old-fashioned corn pone patties cook at 475 degrees for ten minutes, then pull the skillet from the oven and flip them over. Now pop the skillet back into the oven, this time on the top rack, and cook for five more minutes. 

After those five minutes have passed, turn the broiler on high and let the corn pone broil for three minutes. Now, get the skillet out of the oven and the finished corn pone cakes out of the pan.

Serve your surprisingly satisfying creation with butter, maple syrup, honey, or jam, or make a whole meal out of it. "I ate it with a shrimp stew, and I will recommend anything with a sauce, like ground meat" says Leo, adding: "Traditionally, this is eaten with Southern food like collard greens."

Old-Fashioned Corn Pone Everyone Will Love
5 from 48 ratings
This old-fashioned corn pone should be on your list of go-to recipes for many reasons. It's easy to make, and it tastes absolutely amazing.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
18
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Old-Fashioned Corn Pone on a plate on a counter
Total time: 28 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 5 tablespoons bacon drippings (or lard, vegetable shortening, butter, or vegetable oil)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 9-inch round cast iron skillet, add 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings, and place the skillet in the hot oven.
  3. Boil about 2 cups of water in your kettle so that you'll have at least 1 cup.
  4. In a medium bowl, add the cornmeal and sea salt. Mix to combine.
  5. Add 1 cup of the hot water and 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings to the cornmeal mixture, and mix well. The mixture will form a thick batter.
  6. Stir until there are no lumps. Let the batter sit to rest until the skillet in the oven is smoking hot.
  7. Mold 4 round patties (use a ¼ cup measuring cup for sizing).
  8. Carefully take the hot cast iron skillet out of the oven and place the corn patties in skillet, then spoon some of the bacon drippings on top of the corn patties.
  9. Put the cast iron skillet back into the oven on the top rack and bake for about 10 minutes.
  10. Flip patties over and cook for 5 more minutes.
  11. After five minutes, turn the broiler on high and broil for 3 minutes.
  12. Serve with butter and maple syrup, jam, or honey.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 290
Total Fat 16.7 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 15.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 0.6 g
Sodium 266.6 mg
Protein 2.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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