Monday, January 25, 2010

Corniest Corn Muffins

I basically remember just two things from my middle school home ec class: that sour milk can be substituted if you don't have buttermilk, and over-mixing results in muffins with a tougher crumb and a peaked top. I was reminded of both of these facts when I made these delicious corn muffins.

Please forgive these muffins, all pointy instead of nicely domed on top. That's entirely my fault, the result of my refusal to heed my own advice. So take it from me: you really should mix until *just* combined. And I mean just. Still see a few lumps of flour in the batter, instead of a homogeneous mixture? Totally okay. That's what you want, in fact, and you'll be rewarded by muffins with tender delicacy.

But even with my heavy hand (heavy wooden spoon?), these muffins were totally delicious. The crumb is tight and moist, sweet with sugar and whole kernels of corn (for the corn-on-corn taste alluded to in the title). They're sweet enough for a dessert, especially with a swipe of butter and drizzle of honey, but not so sweet that you can't pair them with a bowl of chili. And with frozen corn, and a substitution of soured milk for buttermilk, they can be easily whipped up at the last minute. And if you happen to have leftovers? Toast them. Amazing.

Corniest Corn Muffins

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours

yields 12 muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 Tbsp neutral oil, like corn or canola
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup corn kernals (thaw and dry, if using frozen)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, oil, egg and egg yolk until well combined. Pour this mixture into the dries, folding until just combined but still lumpy. Do not overmix. Fold in the corn kernals, and divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the tops are beginning to get golden, and a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let rest in the pan for a few minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. I think they look very nice pointy... Love this recipe! I'd bet they'd also be good with some chopped up jalepeno or blueberries, too!