March 28, 2010

blueberry buckwheat corn muffins

I really like muffins, especially, as I've probably said before, those of the non-sugar-bomb variety. Like these. And I would try to say something original about these muffins, but my mind has been numbed by the buzzing of Formula One racing. The Australian Grand Prix, to be exact. Oh, the things I suffer for Meat and Potatoes Man. But it is Sunday, so I valiantly soldier on, and set myself to the task of making blueberry muffins. Banging around as loudly as possible, trying in vain to drown out the race. This is more difficult than you might think, because in my little Manhattan apartment the kitchen is the living room.

I wanted to make a blueberry corn muffin with pine nuts, since I've never had pine nuts in a muffin before. And, after picking up a bag of buckwheat flour at the farmer's market a couple of weeks ago, I've been loving the nutty flavor it adds to a variety of baked goods (including these cookies, which were fabulous). You could use any combination of flours in these muffins, but I decided to use buckwheat and spelt to make them 100% whole grain. And my experimentation yielded success -- a muffin that is moist, not too sweet, nicely corn-y, with great texture from the cornmeal and pine nuts. Perfect for eating warm from the oven, or split, toasted, and buttered (or, my favorite, almond-buttered).

My next step is to cancel the cable, to eliminate the temptation to watch chocolate sculpture competitions on Food Network, the latest horrifying developments in reality TV on E!'s The Soup (lord help me), anything with David Bromstad on HGTV or, ahem, Formula One racing. Then it would be just PBS and me --  learning about Monet and Van Gogh, the intricacies of primate societies, and cooking with Lidia, Eric Ripert,  Ruth Reichl. I need to make the leap. But for now at least I have yummy blueberry muffins.

blueberry buckwheat corn muffins with pine nuts
makes 12 muffins

dry ingredients:
1 cup fine- to medium-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 tsp fine-grained sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick) (plus another teaspoon or so for greasing muffin tin)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

1/3 cup pine nuts, plus additional 1 Tbsp or so for sprinkling on top
1/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used whole foods 365 brand frozen wild blueberries)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F with rack in the middle. Lightly grease muffin tin with butter.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. (I sift in the baking powder and baking soda through a small sieve, to eliminate any clumps or hard bits.)
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry all at once. Stir in pine nuts.
  5. Fill muffin cups halfway with batter, then sprinkle a teaspoon or so of blueberries into each cup. Evenly distribute remaining batter among the cups. Sprinkle a few additional blueberries and pine nuts on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.