Cornbread and sweet potatoes were two things that could consistently be found at my dinner table up. These two dishes were a crucial staple on the plates of my ancestors — and this dish reimagines them by combining them. This cobbler begins with a handful of warm spices, maple syrup, sweet potatoes, plums and blackberries. But, unlike my grandmother’s cobbler, this one’s topping is made from a few scoops of cornbread. So, using a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven for this summer-ready dessert not only allows for a beautiful presentation but also lets you bake it directly in the pan, making for fewer dishes.
For the cornbread topping:
In a large bowl, lightly mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, brown butter, egg and buttermilk, until smooth.
For the cobbler:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Fill a large pot halfway with water and place it onto the stove to boil. Add in the sweet potatoes and cook for 5-8 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain the cooked sweet potatoes and set them aside.
Place a large ovenproof pan with 2 tablespoons of butter onto the stove over medium heat. Add in the cooked sweet potatoes, plums, blackberries, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, brown sugar and maple syrup. Once the fruit begins to simmer, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Pour the cornbread batter on top of the fruit, then scatter on the remaining butter and turbinado sugar. Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Once finished baking, let cool for 15-20 minutes. Serve in individual bowls and top with ice cream, whipped cream, and fresh mint, if using.