building new castles every day

give me blueberries!

In Eatings, Makings on August 4, 2010 at 9:00 AM

This weekend I visited my hometown, Vernon, British Columbia, and stayed with the family of my travel companion and best friend, Jennifer.

[What a stellar weekend. Really. Those few days in the Okanagan were exactly what I ordered after the last three/four weeks of long work hours. Oh, and my new iPhone sure was a handy toy for the occasion. But that’s another post.]

The morning after we arrived, Jen’s mom (and my former volleyball coach), Barb, sourced a muffin mix from Vernon’s Nature’s Fare in efforts to accommodate Jen’s gluten intolerance. Barb also made a batch of gluten-full lemon blueberry muffins — the same recipe I stole from her after I sampled their brilliance one teenage day before our daily walk to school.

Barb's gluten-free lemon blueberry muffins. Dunked in butter and sugar!

Though I drool over the wheat flour version, I have to say, Jen’s muffins appealed to me more. The texture of the brown rice–arrowroot–tapioca flour combo was delicious when smothered with butter. I apologized to Jen for gobbling a handful of her batch. But they were just so amazing!

Every morning we ate our full of those teeth-staining delights. Yet when I returned home Monday afternoon, I only craved more! So I stocked up on blueberries from the grocer and checked my cupboards for cornmeal — the most texture-adding ingredient I could think of that wouldn’t require a trip to an unknown health food store or the cost of my arm. (It’s ain’t cheap being a celiac.)

For this Martha Stewart recipe, I substituted the ‘expired’ milk in my fridge for the called buttermilk. I also used regular granulated sugar instead of the coarse ‘sanding’ sugar. I would recommend baking them a little less or perhaps turn the oven down a bit to 375 instead of 400. However, any smidgen of dryness can be countered with a good dollop of butter!

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Makes 12

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons for tops
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (about 1/2 pound), picked over and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse sanding sugar (optional)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in center. Lightly coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest, if using.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg yolks, and butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just blended. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff. Gently fold whites and blueberries into the batter until just combined.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup three-quarters full. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven; gently brush tops with buttermilk, and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Continue baking until tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in a muffin center comes out clean, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let muffins cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before turning out of tin.

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