Servings: Makes 8 servings
- 1 cup apple juice , preferably freshly pressed
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper , seeded
- Raw cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon butter , softened
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons raw cane sugar
- 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites
- 3 ripe pears , peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine apple juice, orange juice, and cranberries. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat cinnamon stick over a gas flame or by pressing against a hot electric burner coil until stick turns dark and fragrant. Add roasted cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and jalapeño to cranberry mixture. Simmer very gently, 50 to 60 minutes, until cranberries have softened and remaining juice is reduced by three-fourths. Remove the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and jalapeño pepper. Stir in a pinch of salt and sugar, if desired. Makes 1/2 cup. Keep warm.
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal into saucepan very slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. In a medium bowl, blend butter and grapeseed oil together, and stir into cornmeal batter with salt and sugar. Cool 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat whole egg and egg whites until well combined. Add eggs to cooled cornmeal mixture; with mixer at medium speed, beat 2 minutes.
Spray a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray, or wipe with a paper towel dipped in grapeseed oil. Heat skillet 2 minutes over medium flame, or just until warm but not hot. Pour batter into greased skillet and bake 20 minutes, or until spoon bread stops rising. Remove skillet from oven. Gently fan pear slices over hot spoon bread in a circular fashion, sprinkle with cinnamon, and return tart to oven. Finish baking 10 to 15 minutes, or until edge of the spoon bread is nicely browned. Remove from oven and drizzle with cranberry, orange, and jalapeño glaze.