March 7, 2021
Question: Where can I find the perfect corn muffin?
Answer: In your own kitchen!
This is probably not a question you ask yourself often. I used to think that the perfect corn muffin came from a box! You heard it here! A box! I used to add a little more sugar than the directions asked for, and even half a can of cream of corn soup from the tin. That was my perfect corn muffin. I’m ashamed to admit I even made them that way for a Super Bowl party. And yes my guests loved them and never knew. They were good!
But this corn muffin here is far superior to that delusion of a muffin I used to have. Trust me! These muffins are interesting because half the cornmeal you add to the flour mixture and the other half you cook with milk into a porridge-like mixture. I think this is where these muffins get their creaminess (without adding half a can of creamed corn). It also seems to bring out the flavor of the cornmeal.
I used good old supermarket cornmeal for these. You can too. I also complimented the sugar in this recipe with some honey. I think it helps give that earthy flavor. Feel free to play around with the proportion of granulated sugar to honey. Some people like their corn muffins on the sweeter side (me), and others - not so much. These muffins are a great addition to any breakfast table, as well as a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of chili on game day. Or you can eat them as I do - as a snack any day I feel like it.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated January/ February 2015
2 cups (280 grams ) yellow cornmeal, to be divided
1 cup (130 grams ) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 (300 ml) cups milk (I used whole milk)
1 cup (240 grams) sour cream ( full fat plain yogurt will work here too)
8 tablespoons (240 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
Heat the oven to 425º F. Either grease a 12 cup standard muffin tin, or you can use disposable liners. (I greased the muffin tin with cooking spray and they just popped right out. I also like the golden color the sides of the muffins turn when you grease the pan.)
Whisk 1 1/2 cups of the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a large microwave bowl combine milk and remaining 1/2 cup of cornmeal. Cook the cornmeal-milk mixture for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between each increment. Cook until all the milk is absorbed and the mixture is thick. (If you don’t have a microwave or would like to do this on the stove, cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.)
Gently stir the melted butter, then sugar, then the sour cream into the cooked cornmeal until combined. Sir in the eggs until combined. Fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very thick.
Use an ice cream scooper to distribute batter evenly between the 12 cups. I had enough batter for three extra muffins.
Bake for 13-17 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rotate muffin tins halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Next, remove the muffins from the tin and let them cool 5 additional minutes. Serve warm