Put a tasty spin on classic buttermilk grits with a sweet pear-granola topping with cinnamon and brown sugar sprinkled on top. If you like sweet over savory at breakfast, this is a great option that isn't too incredibly sweet. Buttermilk adds a subtle, creamy tang to these stone-ground grits. These grits were inspired by the extraordinary artisan grits made by Jim Barkley's mill, Barkley's Mill, in North Carolina. For his stone-ground grits, Barkley uses vintage gristmills that were refurbished and placed in a pristine millhouse at Barkley's Mill, and the beauty of these old machines is more than stone-deep. Grinding between the vertical stones of the gristmills keeps the corn from overheating during the milling process, protecting the integrity of the whole grain. The freshly ground grits are scooped by hand into cloth sacks, tied closed, and chilled. Those who appreciate corn grits know that this specially crafted flavor is worth every penny! Grits go well with just about any Southern meal, at any time of day, on any holiday, or with any dish. Shrimp and grits, grits casserole, and grit cakes are some of our favorites; but it's hard to beat just some grits in a bowl, seasoned just right.

Marian Cooper Cairns


Credit: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
35 mins
Serves 4


Pear-Granola Topping


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 4 cups water, 1 cup whole milk, and 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Gradually whisk in 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thickened, 25 to 30 minutes

  • Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup whole buttermilk and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Peel and dice 2 large pears. Melt 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium. Add pears, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir 4 to 5 Tbsp. light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon into warm grits. Top servings with cooked pears and your favorite crunchy granola.