The Special Ingredient For Sweet And Moist Cornbread

Whether we're downing a steaming bowl of chili or a savory plate filled with barbecue, we love to get corny — with cornbread, that is. Chunks or slices of this bread are the perfect way to soak up saucy foods and provide a welcome textural contrast, but that's not the only reason we turn to cornbread. Because of its starring ingredient, corn, it has a sweeter texture than other types of bread, which balances out meaty, umami flavors perfectly.

If you want to build on that sweetness even more, incorporate pineapple into your recipe. This may sound a bit out of pocket at first, but adding the fruit won't give your bread an overwhelming pineapple taste. What it will do is bring a little extra, natural sugar while contributing moisture from its juices. You'll also get just a tinge of depth with its sourness but, again, not so much that the tang will overpower your tastebuds. This type of side dish is often called Caribbean or tropical cornbread, but it will pair beautifully with almost any type of savory main dish that you normally enjoy cornbread with.

Crushed, canned pineapple is an ideal sweet addition

There are quite a few ways you can incorporate pineapple into your cornbread recipe. You can chop up a fresh fruit or get it canned — but either way, you'll want bits that are cut up as finely as possible, which makes crushed versions ideal. If you can only find canned, diced pineapple, run a knife through your chunks after draining them.

If you're using one cup of cornmeal in your recipe, add about one cup of the fruit. If you'd rather just pour in the juices and keep the texture of your final product as smooth as possible, try ¼ cup for every cup of cornmeal. Either way, you'll want to stir the pineapple product in with your wet ingredients, like egg and milk.

Once the fruit is incorporated, there are a few other ways you can spruce up your elevated cornbread. Feel free to throw some diced jalapeños or cayenne pepper into the mix, or add pineapple to a green chile and tomatillo cornbread, so that your end result has sweet, savory, and spicy elements. Add a little brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, or agave if you want even more sweetness, use coconut or macadamia milk instead of regular for a tropical touch, or stir in some creamed corn for even more richness and moisture. And if you're all about fruity bread, include your pineapple in a tasty cast iron fig recipe.