I was shopping somewhere the other day and saw these adorable cupcake/muffin cups. They looked like fat little ears of corn. I immediately pictured a cornmeal muffin with blueberries. Not sure where that idea came from, but I decided to make it happen.
There are thousands of recipes for cornmeal muffins, cakes and breads! They all vary widely in ingredients and I was a deer in headlights. I didn’t have self-rising cornmeal (that’s a thing?) nor did I have one of those Jiffy mixes people like to grab and call homemade by throwing in cheese or fruit. I wanted basic ingredients like those in my baking cupboard. That was easier said than done!
The next decision (after discarding all recipes with self-rising cornmeal and Jiffy mix) was how sweet I wanted my muffins. That varies from a teaspoon to about a ¼ cup in the recipes. I wanted medium sweet, letting the blueberries be a nice tart contrast. And I didn’t want streusel all over the tops; I wanted my pretty little cups to be the focus, not the squiggly sugar bits on top.
Next I had to argue with all the recipes that had lemon added to the mix. I’m picky about what I allow lemon in, so again I had to search for recipes without lemon. I finally gave up when I found these muffins on Elle’s New England Kitchen. Lemon AND lime, that sounded so interesting I threw my lemon pickiness out the window. Elle had adapted a recipe that called for orange juice and orange zest to using a lime and some pink lemonade she had in her fridge. I also had lime, and pink lemonade mix, and agreed it sounded super interesting!
The muffins are made with buttermilk so that’s always a nice moist finished product. The recipe also called for 2 ¼ cups of blueberries and I had a box of berries in the fridge that were about 2 cups. We probably wouldn’t miss those few berries in the final muffins. I started baking.
I set my oven to preheat to 400 degrees and put my cute corn cups into my muffin tins. Then I added the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisked them to mix. I did the same with a second bowl, adding the wet ingredients and stirring until mixed. Elle had noted that she wished she’d added vanilla, so I took note and added a teaspoon of vanilla to my wet ingredients. Slowly I poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until mixed.
Pouring a scant 1/8 cup of flour over my berries, I tossed to coat them. This would prevent them from falling to the bottom of the cups. Or so I hoped. Most of the recipes had suggested this move, even though Elle didn’t mention doing this. I folded the berries into the muffin batter carefully. Actually the batter was so thick the berries wouldn’t be falling anywhere.
I did follow Elle’s tip and used a large cookie scoop to fill the muffin cups equally. I ended up with 12 cups filled very full. I put the tins into the oven and baked for 28 minutes. The tops were golden brown and they tested clean with a toothpick. I cooled them on rack for a few minutes before serving for dinner with our ham lentil soup. Later I put the remaining muffins into a container with a lid for storing.
Oh my, they were so good! There was a nice depth to the muffin that could only come from using cornmeal. The outsides were a bit crispy and the insides were so moist. The blueberries were a tart yet sweet pop, and the citrus flavors added to the zesty boldness of the fruit. (Did I sound like a judge on Chopped? Heh)
I think I’d like to try the muffins next time with a full lime blast. Instead of using lemonade, use lime juice. Focusing on lime and blueberry would be kind of interesting. I didn’t really notice much of the lemon in these. The lime came through more the next day when I had a muffin for breakfast.
Very pleasing, these muffins were just as I’d imagined, standing in the store looking at the cute muffin papers. The papers were a fun aspect that made them all the prettier. I can’t wait to make them for one of our SOTT birthday parties. They will be fabulous with our breakfast lattes!
Blueberry Lemon Lime Cornmeal Muffins
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup lemonade
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
grated zest of one lime
2 – 2 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/8 cup flour
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard muffin tin, or line with papers.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine the first six ingredients (flour through the salt).
In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, lemonade, butter, vanilla egg and zest. Add to the dry mixture and stir just to moisten.
In a small bowl toss the 1/8 cup flour with the berries until coated. Fold the berries into the muffin batter.
Using a scoop, fill the 12 muffins cups.
Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden brown and a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the pan then remove to a cooling rack.
Makes 12 muffins