On Christmas Eve, I made white bean soup using some of my frozen mirepoix and the last ham steak from cousin Norah up at Sweetland Farm. I would have made cornbread to go with it but for some baffling reason, both my little boys refuse to eat cornbread. So I cast about for an alternative that would not provoke the dreaded, dinner-time, I-WON’T-EAT-THAT!!!! tantrum.
After considering a number of rather fussy and labor-intensive options, I discovered the recipe for these simple, scrumptious corn muffins on the Land O’ Lakes website.
I was feeling burnt out by all the cooking and cleaning and shopping and wrapping and worrying about whether I’d gotten too few or too many presents for each person and was very drawn to the simplicity of the recipe. Even the amounts are neat and tidy: 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, half a cup of sour cream, 1 cup of flour, etc., This is the kind of recipe I might even be able to memorize....
And they turned out to be perfect muffins! They are moist, fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness and a subtle, toothsome texture from the mix of cornmeal and flour. I served them, still warm from the oven, slathered with butter and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. Both boys wolfed them down and even ate the soup without commentary. Thank goodness!
I used Wild Hive Farm’s fine-ground cornmeal, which is superb stuff. Wild Hive’s corn is one of the few grains I can get that’s grown and milled right here in the Hudson Valley though I’m hopeful that that will change as more and more northeastern farmers begin to master the lost art of growing grains for human consumption.
As with most cornbread recipes, these muffins actually contain more wheat flour than they do cornmeal but you can certainly substitute a gluten-free flour mix if you can’t/don’t eat wheat.
I kept mine simple out of respect for my kids’ palettes the first time but have since made them with nubbins of grilled sweet corn that I froze in August, sharp cheddar cheese and flecks of fresh cilantro – MWAH! You could also add things like chili powder, a dash of sriracha, scallions or caramelized onions.
Sour Cream Corn Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1 stick (1/4 cup) organic butter, softened
3 tablespoons organic sugar
2 large, pasture-raised eggs (use organic, cage-free if you can’t find pasture-raised)
1/2 cup organic sour cream
1/2 cup organic milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin and set it aside.
2. Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat on medium speed, until creamy. Add the eggs and beat to combine then add the sour cream, milk, flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and beat at low speed until just mixed. Do not overmix.
3. Spoon the batter into muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Related post on The Garden of Eating: Maple sage buttermilk cornbread