Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Taste of Summer in the Midst of Spring

Well, it may be 40°C outside (and heck no I'm not complaining - bring on the heat!), but believe it or not it’s still the month of May. Spring is still technically still here, though the gardens, lawns and weeds would rather think otherwise! When I think sunny, warmer weather, I think of bright colours, fresh berries, BBQ’s and corn on the cob. And I always tend to crave things that incorporate those bits of Summer once it warms up, like lemons, cherry pie, and even though it’s been years since I’ve eaten any sort of grilled or barbequed food (both my mom and stepdad prefer the “char first, ask questions later” method of cooking outside, and I prefer not to eat charcoal), we host enough grill-outs in our backyard that I’m always tuned into good dessert-like things I can bring to the party.

Being that it is warm outside, lighter, fresher fare is usually preferred (and fruit is always a plus!) and portability just makes things easier all around. Adding one more plate and fork to the equation equals more dishes, and while the family doesn’t necessarily care that much about carting around the dishware I don’t know how mom feels about washing it all. Besides, buttercream, mousses and airy whipped cream toppings (or fillings) don’t play well in the heat, nor do puddings or meringue. Pretty much anything I’ve made for the cook-outs has been an easily sliceable, easy-to-pick up and eat cake or muffin of some kind.

So, it should come as no surprise that I latched onto my recent roasted corn craving (if you haven’t tried roasted corn, do the next time you BBQ – you will never go back to boiled!) and general Summery feeling by packing in as much of the grain as I could along with a few hits of warm-weather berries when I made these treats. While admittedly, I had to use the blueberries I froze last year (after the pie trials!), which turned the previously lemon-yellow batter a kind of interesting green, their sweet/tart flavour came through full force and played off the roasted corn, cornflour and cornmeal beautifully. Unlike a lot of cornmeal-based items, these are supremely moist and tender – a result of the tenderizing, thick buttermilk and yogurt as well as the high ratio of gluten-free dry ingredients. Though we had them on the dessert tray, I’d wager they’d be fine for breakfast or an after-school snack.

Double - Blueberry Super Corn Muffins
Makes 15
1 (12-oz) can whole corn kernels, drained well
1 cup cornmeal
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup yellow corn flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tbsp non-fat Greek style plain yogurt
¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup dried blueberries, soaked in hot water and drained

  1. Preheat oven to broil and spread corn kernels out on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet.
  2. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until they toast and begin to lightly char (don't burn them too badly!). Set aside.
  3. Lower the oven to 375°F and line muffin cups with paper cases.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest, buttermilk, egg, butter and yogurt, blending well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine, then fold in the toasted corn and both types of blueberries.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they test done.
  8. Cool slightly on a rack before enjoying or serve completely cooled.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 142.9
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 21.1 mg
Sodium: 79.3 mg
Total Carbs: 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Protein: 3.1 g

2 comments :

Helene said...

I really enjoyed the weather we had the past couple days. It seems I froze a lot the past winter.

David T. Macknet said...

Sounds tasty! And I'm with you on the idea of carbonizing everything before eating: bad bad!