What would the Thanksgiving holiday be without love at the table? Love…as in Love Muffin! I have a new muffin for you that is perfect when paired with the flavors of fall—roast turkey or chicken, sweet potatoes, rich stews—all will benefit from a little Pumpkin, Corn and Sage muffin on the side of the plate.
Further, Don and I love these savory muffins for breakfast. Try them with a big pat of butter and some cranberry jam. Easy to prepare from my basic muffin recipe, you can whip them up in a little less than an hour and serve them piping hot to family and friends. Single-serving size helps everyone indulge without over-indulging…yes?
- One cup fine stone-ground cornmeal
- One cup whole wheat pastry flour (Pastry flour has a finer grind than regular whole wheat and makes a better muffin.)
- One cup all-purpose flour
- One cup oat bran
- One-half cup freshly ground flax seed
- One teaspoon baking powder
- One tablespoon baking soda
- One tablespoon of your favorite chili powder (I got mine from New Mexico—a hatch green chili powder that is exceptional. Use your favorite!)
- One teaspoon ground cumin
- One teaspoon fine sea salt
- Three tablespoons finely minced sage leaves or one tablespoon dried sage
- One cup fresh or frozen organic corn kernels (If you use frozen, be sure to thaw and drain off any excess water before adding to the recipe. I let mine dry out for about 30 minutes on a clean unbleached paper towel.)
- One cup fresh pumpkin puree
- One cup buttermilk
- One cup full-fat Greek Yogurt
- One egg, slightly beaten
- Two tablespoons melted butter
- One tablespoon honey
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, oat bran, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda and seasonings, including the sage.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the corn kernels, pumpkin, buttermilk, yogurt, beaten egg, melted butter and honey.
- Combine all the dry ingredients well, using a large whisk. Make a well in the center.
- Combine all the wet ingredients well, using the same large whisk. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and gently combine using a rubber spatula. Work from the outside into the well, going around the bowl, turning it as you work. Everything should be thoroughly combined, but try not to overwork your batter.
- Spoon the batter into muffin cups—you can use parchment paper cups or you can grease the muffin tin. I like coconut oil for this, but butter works, too. Fill the cups three-quarters of the way full for over-the-top muffins.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Once removed from the oven, loosen the sides of each muffin with a butter knife. Serve warm or at room temperature
These keep nicely in a sealed bag on the counter for three or four days, but you could turn extras into stuffing for a leftover turkey casserole, if you were feeling creative. You might also consider adding a few tablespoons of grated white cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese to the dry ingredients. Mmmmm.
Do I really need to beat the egg first?
Seems like an unnecessary extra step, doesn’t it? After all, everything eventually ends up beaten together anyway. Ever heard the phrase “tufts of flour may remain” in recipes for quick breads and muffins? “What is up with that?” you ask.
The truth is “tufts of flour” should not remain, but recipe developers are afraid we will vigorously overwork our batters to get them smooth, thereby creating a bready, chewy texture that is undesirable. So they have us err on the side of under combining. But we need not leave those tufts remaining. The key to tender and moist muffins, cakes and quick breads is combining thoroughly as you go—the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients—before it all comes together in the big bowl. Beating your egg separately is part of this insurance policy. A bit of effort up front makes for delicious results, so beat the egg, whisk away at individual ingredients and gently combine at the end in the fashion I suggest above…until no tufts of flour remain.
These little bakery bites make a great accompaniment to the Scarborough Chicken, by the way. So spread the love…with butter and—maybe–jam!