[pinit] When I post gluten free Thanksgiving recipes, we all get excited! And then sometimes you say sweetly and expectantly, ‘I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for Thanksgiving!’ And then … I get nervous. To say I don’t want to let you down is a giNORmous understatement. I want you to make The Thanksgiving To Remember. We’ve moved beyond “good, for gluten free,” to just plain “Good.” And now, that’s old news. Now, we’re on to BETTER than that. And I’m not just talking about gluten free bread. I’m talking about everything on that holiday table. And since no holiday table is complete without casseroles—like the ever-present GBC—we need more. Like light and fluffy gluten free spoonbread.
Like most dishes made with perfectly ordinary, simple ingredients, and not too many of them, spoonbread can go terribly wrong without the proper recipe. The ingredient proportions must be right, and the method must be spot-on. This spoonbread hits all the right notes. Plus the grated carrots add a bit of texture, plenty of nutrition and lots of color.
Not to spoil the recipe for or anything, but there are two secrets to the success of this particular spoonbread recipe. First, let the cornmeal and milk mixture cool before you add the egg yolks, fercryingoutloud! Otherwise, you’ll scramble the egg yolks, and ew. Just ew. Second, beat the egg whites with a wee bit of cream of tartar. It helps stabilize the beaten egg whites so they hold their shape and do their thing even after being folded into the rest of the batter. Because everybody knows that no matter how many times a recipe says “gently” and “carefully” when it comes to folding beaten egg whites into something much heavier, like a cornmeal mixture, those egg whites are going to deflate at least a bit. Give ’em a fighting chance with some cream of tartar, and a light and fluffy spoonbread will grace your holiday table. And … go ahead and say it: can’t wait to see what we make next! (me either!)
Gluten Free Carrot Cornmeal Spoonbread
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) milk, any kind
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (100 g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (from 3 to 4 carrots, peeled)
4 eggs (240 g, out of shell), separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish (a casserole dish with that capacity, or a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish), and set it aside.
In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the milk and salt to the butter, and bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture to a simmer, and, whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Cook, continuing to whisk constantly, over medium heat until the mixture comes together (2 minutes). Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, or until no longer very hot to the touch.
While the cornmeal mixture is cooling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.
Once the cornmeal mixture has cooled, add the egg yolks and whisk until well-combined. Add the carrots, and mix to combine. Carefully add about one-third of the beaten egg whites, and mix gently to combine. Add the remaining egg whites, and fold into the mixture gently, until no more than a few white streaks remain. Pour the mixture carefully into the prepared baking dish, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until puffed and lightly golden brown on top (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and serve immediately.