Put a cast iron pot or other oven-safe pan into the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. You want to allow time for the pan to get piping hot. If you do not have a cast iron pan you can use a greased 9×13 pan. The edges will not be as crispy but it will still be good.
In a small bowl mix gelatin and 1/4 cup milk or milk sub. In another bowl, or in a 2-cup measuring pitcher mix the 1 1/2 cups of the milk or milk sub plus the corn meal. This prevents the corn meal from immediately sucking the batter dry when it’s incorporated into the whole.
In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Dump in the wet ingredients: the gelatin mix, the corn meal mix, the frozen corn, maple syrup and 1 1/4 cups oil. Combine.
Being careful to use oven mitts, take the cast iron pan from the oven. It is very easy to forget that the normally innocuous handle is dangerously hot, I know seasoned cooks who have gotten very serious burns from a pan pre-heated in the oven.
Pour the 2 Tbsp oil or solid fat into pan. Traditionally bacon fat is used for this but a modern palate will be more accustomed to butter or the more neutral flavor of oil. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel folded several times to be quite thick and spread the oil or fat around the bottom and up the sides. Pour in the corn bread batter and smooth the top with your spoon or spatula, and again, carefully using the oven mitts, return the pan to the oven.
Baking time depends on the size of your pan–a wider pan will cook more quickly as the batter ends up being thinner. Cooking time will be about 30-45 minutes but it’s a good idea to check on it after 20 minutes just in case. The corn bread is done when a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.