Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and milk and mix well but do not beat. Heat the shortening in a 10-inch cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Pour in the batter and cook until the edges begin to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before using.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings