Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Creamy Corn Muffins from a c.1897 Maryland Recipe

The Recipe
I found this recipe for Corn Muffins in The Up-to-Date Cook Book published in 1897 by St. John's Church, Montgomery County, Maryland. Though up-to-date in 1897, this recipe still passes muster. The batter is creamy and smooth, and the texture follows suit. I always use organic stone-ground fine-grained cornmeal for recipes like this; I especially like to use locally milled cornmeal from Wye Mills or even from out-of-state Anson Mills in South Carolina. These types of cornmeal are more nutritious and have a more flavorful taste, very much like what they would have had prior to the introduction of roller mills in the mid-19th century. Period recipes for corn muffins that do not contain sugar are meant to be made with naturally more flavorful stone-ground cornmeal; sugar started to be added when roller-milled cornmeal was used to add back flavor that was depleted by the roller milling process that creates flavor-dulling heat and strips the naturally tasty germ and bran from the corn kernels.

Modern Recipe Adaptation: Creamy Corn Muffins
Yield: 24 Muffins

  • 5 1/2 Cups Stone-Ground Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk or Soured Milk (Scant 2 Cups Whole Milk with 1 Teaspoon Distilled Vinegar)
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Melted
  • 3 Large Eggs

  1. Heat the oven to 400ยบ F.
  2. Grease two regular-size muffin tins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, which together the cornmeal, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, cream, melted butter, and eggs.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Pour batter into each muffin cavity until about 2/3 filled.
  7. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden and firm.

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