I have been searching some time now for a world class corn muffin recipe with which to satisfy our young corn lovin' diva, Muppet. For as long as I've known her, her favorite snack, bar none, has been a really well made corn muffin or piece of corn bread. Panera's corn muffin-top is the gold standard by which all others are measured, though she's also a fan of Trader Joe's box mix that we make at home. That's provided of course that someone take the time to sift the whole corn kernels from the mix before proceeding to add the wet ingredients. You see, this girl won't abide whole kernels in her muffins.
As much as we all like the TJ mix, I've been trying for a few years now to come up with a from-scratch recipe that could compete, and that we could pull together on the fly in the off chance that we didn't have a boxed mix in the pantry. Sadly, most of these experiments have been abysmal failures, regularly delivering tasteless and dry hockey-puckish results. For some reason, even recipes with copious amounts of oil or butter (read fat) tended to the dry and flavorless side…..so disappointing.
Imagine my glee then when I discovered the recipe that I modified to make these muffins. Rich with cream and butter and calling for a whole cup of cornmeal, my instincts were telling me that this just might be the recipe we've been looking for. Of course, never one to leave well enough alone, I did mess with the original before proceeding. First, I lessened the cream from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups, and to be honest I'll probably try 1 1/2 the next time. I'm as much of a lover of cream as the next guy, but hey, I'd like to grow old enough to see my grandkids one day. Next I lowered the sugar called for from 1/2 to 1/3 cup, and finally to amp up the corn goodness, added some freshly pureed cooked corn to the mix. To do this I took 2 ears that we had cooked the day before and had leftover in the fridge; cut the kernels from the cobs and zapped them in a small processor until smooth. The scant cup of puree they yielded really put these muffins over the top….they were outstanding!
Soft, tender and cushy as a baby's bottom and bursting with fresh corn flavor, they were amazing just minutes out of the oven, and equally good the next day after a quick 15 second dance in the microwave.
I'll take mine slathered with some homemade raspberry jam…… thank you very much.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 heaping cup cooked corn kernels, pureed
- Heat your oven to 350℉ and spray a 12 muffin pan with canola oil spray (Pam).
- Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder , and salt in a mixing bowl.
- If using raw (or thawed frozen corn), place the kernels in a small pan, cover with water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 8-9 minutes. Strain the corn and place it in the hopper of a processor, and blitz until nice and smooth, about 1 minute. If using already cooked corn, you can blitz it straight-off.
- By hand, or using an electric beater, whisk the cream, eggs and melted butter to combine. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until there are no lumps left in the batter. Mix in the corn puree and spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake until the muffins are lightly golden, well risen and slightly cracked on top, about 20-25 minutes. A tester placed into the center of a muffin should come out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. These are best eaten warm, so if you are not going to eat them before they fully cool, I recommend you give them a quick turn in the microwave to reheat slightly before eating.