Preheating the pan with shortening gives the cornbread that perfectly crisp texture around the edges that everyone wants. The hint of honey adds a subtle sweetness and makes for an all-around delicious cornbread.
Technique tip: Mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add to dry ingredients.
Swap option: Add 1 minced seeded jalapeño and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to kick it up a notch.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cast-iron pan with shortening.2.
Place the prepared pan in the oven to heat up while making batter.3.
Mix cornmeal, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.4.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and 1/4 cup melted butter.5.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moistened (do not overstir!).6.
Remove hot pan from oven and pour in cornbread mixture. Place back in oven for 25-30 minutes.7.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and honey in small saucepan.8.
Brush top of cornbread with honey-butter mixture and serve.