Earlier today, I made a mistake. I put a batch of cornmeal muffins into a preheated oven and then, inexplicably, switched off the heat. It had been a long day in the kitchen and it was my final cooking project of the afternoon (I also made creamy vegetable soup, cornbread with bacon and a big batch of chili for the freezer). I peeked at them twice as they “baked” and couldn’t figure out why they weren’t rising as they should (I wondered at one point whether I’d left out the leavening).
I figured it out after they’d been sitting in a cooling oven for nearly twenty minutes and quickly switched the heat back on. While they eventually baked up into serviceable muffins, they did suffer a little for the error. Instead of rising into pleasantly toasted brown domes, the muffins were completely concave in the middle.
As I looked at my poor muffins, the thought occurred that often that people hollow out the center section of baked goods in order to fill them with frosting or fruit or pastry cream. I decided to do the same with one of the muffins. I grabbed a jar of strawberry jam from the fridge and spooned a generous scoop into the hollow. It made a nice afternoon snack and redeemed my goof nicely. I plan to eat the rest of the batch in much the same manner.
- 1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup spelt flour (whole wheat pastry flour also works)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup melted and cooled butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Pour milk into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add egg, melted butter and vanilla extract. Whisk.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.
- Portion muffin batter into prepared tin.
- Place tin in the preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Muffins are done when they are light brown and an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.