This recipe has the right texture, is crisp and yet crumby, a perfect combination for cornbread. I have used it for the last few years and it's never failed me. Feel free to add some vegetables or corn to the batter for a colorful (and more nutritious) touch.
Preheat cast iron skillet or oven-proof dish (approximately 9” round) in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to get the skillet screaming hot.
In the meantime, place all dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper) in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add melted butter, milk and beaten egg and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until everything is incorporated. The batter will be thick.
Open oven and place 1 tablespoon butter in cast iron skillet and close oven until butter is melted and sizzling.
Remove cast iron skillet from oven, swirl the butter around so all surface area and sides are covered with butter and pour batter into pan. Spread the batter out with the back of a spatula. But don't worry if it doesn't look perfect, it will spread more as it cooks.
Return the skillet to the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven. If using immediately, cut and serve with your favorite butter or vegan butter. If preparing to make cornbread dressing, allow to cool completely and then use.