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All-Corn Cornbread with Jalapeños, Peaches + Ricotta

I’ve got a few Andrews in my life, and several of them influenced this recipe. I got the cornbread recipe from my friend Andrew Brix and use it as a regular staple for meals with guests who eat gluten free. The jalapeño peaches come from one of my first food teachers, Andrew Wilhelm, in our time together at Zingerman’s Deli. Andrew Harris (along with Wes Rieth) grows the heirloom corn at Granor Farm that is now my go-to cornmeal. Thanks, Andrews.


  • 3 cups [480 g] cornmeal
  • 6 Tbsp [90 g] butter or lard or chicken fat
  • ½ tsp salt plus a pinch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 medium peaches about 12 oz [340 g], sliced into wedges
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into very thin rings, seeds removed if you like it milder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 6 oz [180 g] ricotta


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F [230°C]. Put a medium ovenproof frying pan in the oven to preheat.
  • Put half of the cornmeal (1 ½ cups [240 g]) into a heatproof bowl.
  • In a saucepan, add the butter and the ½ tsp of salt to 2 cups [500 ml] of water and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the boiling water mixture into the bowl of cornmeal. Whisk together and let stand for 1 minute.
  • Add the remaining cornmeal and the baking powder and egg to the cornmeal batter and whisk together.
  • Remove the frying pan from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes until the bread has a golden crust on top and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
  • Combine the peaches, jalapeños, sugar, vanilla, and the pinch of salt and let sit for 10 minutes to macerate.
  • To serve, cut the cornbread into wedges, dollop with the ricotta, and top with a hefty spoonful of the peach mixture.


Reprinted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger.