Husk Cherry and Hot Pepper Upside-Down Cornbread

6-8

1½ pints husk cherries (about 1½ cups of cherries, husked)

1 jalapeño pepper

1 poblano pepper

½ cup unsalted butter, melted and divided

⅔ cup light brown sugar

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1¼ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 400º. 

 

Slice half of husked cherries in half, leaving remainder whole. Slice peppers into ¼-inch rounds. 

 

Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons melted butter, husk cherries, pepper slices, and ⅓ cup of brown sugar. Cook, stirring until sugar melts and cherries start to break down slightly (3–4 minutes). Remove pan from heat and set aside. 

 

Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ones until just combined. Fold in corn kernels.  

 

Gently pour batter into cast iron pan, over husk cherries and peppers. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cornbread comes out clean (20–24 minutes). Remove pan from oven. Place a plate larger than the circumference of the pan over it, and flip cornbread to reveal caramelized cherry and pepper top. 

 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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