When I was compiling my Valentine’s Day recipe roundup the other week and sorting through my most popular recipes in Google Analytics, I was a little surprised at the number of keyword referrals for “cornbread.” I adore cornbread – it was my very first post after all – but, really? I thought for sure something like “chocolate” or “cupcake”, maybe even “kale salad” would be towards the top of the list. No, the clear winner is cornbread.
I rarely look at my analytics data in any kind of detail because that’s what I did for my SEO work for years and now I will pass on the spreadsheets, thank you very much. However, I did want to create a little something special for all of those folks visiting here and looking for cornbread. There’s the simple vegan recipe, a gluten-free version, and now this:
Vegan & Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread with Caramelized Onions, Bosc Pears & Fresh Thyme
I tend to enjoy my cornbread on the sweeter side, but I wanted to go in a savory direction too. The caramelized onions straddle sweet and savory, the pears take it back to sweet, and then the thyme pushes it back to savory. It’s a fancy twist on my original recipes and very, very comforting (thyme will do that). It was also a good excuse to use my neglected cast-iron skillet. Just lifting that thing is a mini workout, which I like to think helps build up even more of an appetite for the cornbread.
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium bosc pears, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme, lightly packed
- pinch of fine sea salt & black pepper
- 2 flax "eggs" (2 tablespoons freshly ground flax, 6 tablespoons warm water)
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ cup millet flour
- 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, see note)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, lightly packed
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the sliced onion to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook the onion, stirring every so often, until it is soft and browning slightly (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the sliced pears and 1½ teaspoons of fresh thyme and cook, stirring often, for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the pears have softened.
- Transfer the onion and pear mixture to a bowl and set them aside. Set the skillet aside for now as well.
- Begin preparing your cornbread by combining the ground flax seeds and water to make flax "eggs." Stir and set the mixture aside for a couple of minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, millet flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sea salt, and xanthan gum (if using).
- Add the flax "eggs," coconut sugar, non-dairy milk, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined, then fold in half of the onion and pear mixture.
- Transfer the batter to your skillet and top it with the remaining onions and pears. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme.
- Bake the cornbread for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly, cut into pieces, and serve!
I’ll see you a little later in the week with a fun new series! Oh, I am so excited for this one…