Secret #1: Buttermilk
Secret #2: Honey
Secret #3: Hot Skillet
Don't have buttermilk? I keep a buttermilk powder on hand for baking when you want the buttermilk flavor, without added liquid. Or quickly make your own: for the 1 1/2 cups this recipe calls for, remove 1 1/2 Tbsps milk from 1 1/2 cups of milk and add in 1 1/2 Tbsps of vinegar or lemon juice, and let it sit for 5 minutes, then add to the recipe.
Now, this week I got to up the secret factor, because I got to use some AMAZING honey, and I don't know if I'd ever be able to live up to it with any old honey again. I got my honey from Haff Apiaries (701.663.1619) in Mandan, North Dakota, it's raw unpasteurized honey and the best I've ever tasted. I also used White Lily White Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix, this is hard to find up here in North Dakota, so I order it online. While I do think it makes a better cornbread, you can use whatever corn meal you have.
Buttermilk Skillet CornbreadINGREDIENTS
2 cups White Lily White Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Generously grease 8-10" cast iron skillet (I use butter flavored shortening for this, butter just doesn't do as good a job)
Preheat skillet in oven to 425
Measure cornmeal (and flour, if needed) into a bowl and stir (with a wooden spoon) it up to break up large clumps
Add remaining ingredients and mix until just moist, it will have some clumps
Pour into skillet and put in oven for 20 - 30 minutes (depends on the skillet size, start checking on it at 20 minutes. You want the top to get to a nice deep golden color.