And while I’m a #SouthernWannabe, I do like my Northern cornbread – which has a touch of sweet and is more cake-like than the South’s version. So, I thought it would make for a great base for the classic Strawberry Shortcake dessert (and I did make it my Nana’s cast iron skillet so hopefully I get some Southern points for that.)
I added in lemon because I think it’s the perfect fruit to transition from winter to spring – plus it’s a heavenly pairing with strawberries.
Here are a few more “healthier” tweaks I made:
Used stone-ground cornmeal (Look for “whole corn” as the ingredient. I like Bob’s Red Mill fine meal version.)
Used whole wheat pastry flour
Cut back on amount of sugar used in the fruit syrup
Instead of whipped cream, combined vanilla yogurt with mascarpone
So, you know when you think of a recipe in your head and it doesn’t quite live up to expectations? I’m happy to say this one did. And next time, I think I’d add some rosemary to the cornbread or fresh basil or mint to the strawberry lemon syrup.
Strawberry Lemon Cornbread Shortcakes are a healthier twist to a classic dessert, and they are anything but short on flavor.
1 1/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
Juice and zest from one lemon
2 batches Strawberry Lemon Syrup*
1 cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt or Icelandic vanilla skyr
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, canola oil, eggs, juice from the lemon and half of the zest from lemon (save the remaining zest for the lemon topping.) Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Place cast iron skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, swirl around and remove from heat. Pour batter into skillet. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until cornbread starts to turn golden brown.
For lemon topping, place yogurt, mascarpone, milk and remaining lemon zest in standing mixer bowl. Whip together for about 20 seconds (or use hand mixer.)
To assemble shortcakes, cut wedge of cornbread and slice in half. Place bottom half on plate and spoon strawberry lemon syrup over top. Cover with remaining cornbread slice and top with more syrup and a dollop of lemon topping.