I think I have established by now how much I absolutely adore things made with cornmeal.
Most of these goodies look really simple: cornbread, corn muffins, scones… Just by looking at those words one would never assume there was anything special about them, but people who have had the pleasure of eating them know that indeed cornmeal adds something special to what would have been a common dish. This is one of the reasons why I love it so much. It makes the food look so no-frills, and yet taste so so good. It is such a classic example of how not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a muffin by its simplicity.
I’m going to keep this post short and simple. These are the bestest corn muffins I have ever made and eaten, and it’s not because it is in my favourite colour. Aside from the fact that the cornmeal adds that lovely grittiness to the muffins, it adds an unmistakable sweetness highlighted further by the corn kernels. The muffins themselves are moist but dense enough for spreading butter or jam on; and only a little oil is used because the batter relies heavily on buttermilk to bind it together.
I have to confess though, I might have overmixed my batter a little bit, resulting in less rustic-looking muffins. I love how Dorie’s muffins looked in the photo in her book, with the craggy tops that overflowed onto the tins, making the muffins look a little like mushrooms.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons corn oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned), patted dry
- 1. Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven and preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Butter or line with cupcakes liners 12 molds in a regular-sized muffin pan. Place muffin pan on a baking sheet.
- 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg (if using).
- 3. In a large glass measuring cup or another smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg, and yolk until well blended.
- 4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend, careful not to overmix. The batter should be lumpy. Stir in the corn kernels just until distributed.
- 5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling all the way up.
- 6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing each muffin from the mold to cool completely.
- Storage: Keep in airtight containers in room temperature for about three days. If muffins last longer than that, keep in container in the fridge and heat in toaster before eating.
- *No buttermilk? No problem! Learn how to make homemade buttermilk here. It just takes two household staples.
I think every baker should get to experience all the deliciousness within, and the warm way in which she guides and accompanies the baker in the kitchen through her book. It’s really quite something! If I’m looking for a sure recipe, or a little confidence-booster in the kitchen, I turn to her book automatically. 🙂