A few days ago, when I realized summer was almost over, I decided to create a muffin to capture the essence of summer in Maine.What says summer in Maine like fresh corn, blueberries, and maple syrup?
I certainly didn’t know anything about the local produce up here until I first visited Maine a year ago. Now that I’ve spent the better part of the summer in this northern corner of New England, I know that “native” means “local” as far as food is concerned and native, organic produce abounds. Lobster, of course, is a delicious part of Maine’s food culture. I love lobster but I wouldn’t put it in a muffin. Corn though, I wondered about combining corn with blueberries. Ultimately I decided to give it a go. Why not live dangerously? We can’t eat the same old blueberry muffins every day! I started with the corn bread/muffin recipe in Joy of Cooking and made a few modifications to suit my healthy goals and special ingredients.
I made a trip to a nearby farm stand for local blueberries and picked up some organic, Maine maple syrup there as well. The leftover ear of corn from our dinner the other night was also local. My hosts here have taught me to eat corn whenever we could get it, often a couple ears at a time, as long as it’s in season. They eat corn as kind of a dessert. It cooks in a pot on the stove during dinner and then they serve it up on a separate, clean plate at the end. This ritual seemed a bit strange to me at first. Now that I’m used to it I can’t imagine eating corn any other way. It takes lots of concentration to handle a hot ear of corn so why mix it up with the rest of dinner? I say give it the honor and undivided attention it deserves. In the rare case that there’s some left over, put it in these muffins!
Maine Summer Muffins
2/3 cup corn meal
1 cup +2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp flax seed meal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain kefir
A generous handful of blueberries (I used about 3/4 cup)
Kernels cut off of one ear of corn
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Combine flour, cornmeal, flax, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until well blended
In a separate bowl, mix milk, kefir, egg whites, butter, maple syrup (substitute any kind of milk – dairy or not – for the milk and kefir. You can also use plain yogurt instead of kefir)
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined
Gently stir in blueberries and corn
Spoon batter into an oiled muffin pan, a muffin pan with paper liners, or a muffin pan with silicon muffin cups like I used
Bake for 15-28 minutes or until muffins are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
These were fabulous plain hot out of the oven but I have a feeling they will be good later with a little cream cheese or even blueberry jam (to really take the blueberries to the next level). Realistically, I’ll probably just eat them plain cause I’m a plain muffin kind of girl.