Boone Tavern Spoon Bread

Boone Tavern Spoon Bread.  Almost like a cornbread with egg whites employed as the leavening agent – kind of like a cornbread soufflé. In Kentucky we just like it with plain ole butter!  I have noticed that others from different areas like it served with a bit of honey or something sweet.

Just a little history and bragging! I am an alumnus of Berea College.  The small town of Berea is well known for its local artisans and the Berea College – the home of the Boone Tavern. It was built in the early 20th century to house guests of the college and was named after Daniel Boone. The hotel was built with bricks made by students in the Berea College brickyard and is still staffed by nearly 80% students to this day.

Upon being seated you will be presented with a lovely homemade spoon bread – a specialty of the tavern for which it is well known. It is served with a big serving spoon out of a giant pan by a server’s assistant and topped with butter.  Oh my, it is so wonderful!

 Boone Tavern Spoon Bread

Yields approximately 8 servings

  •  4 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 tbsp. softened, 3 tbsp. melted)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1⁄4 cups finely ground white cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease a 9″ round cake pan with some of the softened butter. Cut out a parchment paper circle to fit inside the pan, nestle it into the bottom, and grease the paper with the remaining softened butter. Set the prepared pan aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, whisking occasionally, over high heat. While whisking, pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the cornmeal, for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to let the cornmeal mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer the cornmeal mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the remaining butter, baking powder, salt, and eggs and mix on medium speed until uniform and aerated, about 15 minutes. Pour cornmeal batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and puffy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Best eaten when hot!

  1. Arlisha says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for the Spoon Bread served at Boone Tavern for years!!! Hands down the best comfort food that has ever graced my palette!!! When I think of my college years at Berea College, one of my best memories are of the Spoon Bread!

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