Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Visit to the Express, with Muffins

Yesterday, Annette Hinkle from the Sag Harbor Express invited me over to the paper's office on Main Street to talk about my blog. I couldn't go empty-handed, so I brought her these muffins.

Lemon Ginger Corn Muffins
Makes 12

I've never forgotten the Bridge Creek Ginger Muffins in Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book, so I went back to her recipe to see what made them so memorable. I think her secret is heating the ginger with some sugar to release its flavor before mixing it into her muffin batter. So I did the same, and added it to my corn muffin batter, with a healthy amount of grated lemon zest for good measure. The IGA always has buttermilk, but you can substitute plain yogurt or 3/4 cup sour cream thinned with 1/4 cup milk if that's more convenient.

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Combine the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in the work bowl of a food processor or mini chopper and pulse until the ginger is finely ground, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Scrape the mixture into a small pot (I use my butter warmer) and heat over medium-low, stirring, until the ginger is fragrant, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Whisk together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs, lemon zest, and the ginger mixture. Whisk in the buttermilk. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.Don't overmix!
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert them onto a wire rack, turn them right side up on the rack, and let them cool completely (or just let them cool for 10 minutes more and eat them warm).

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