Cornmeal adds a new twist to muffins

Fresh peaches and blueberries combine for a flavor treat

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My cousin Martha Cayton and I met in the parking lot at work last Tuesday morning and exchanged baked goods.

She gave me a slice of her blueberry pound cake. I gave her two peach and blueberry muffins I had made the night before.

I got a text from her later in the morning saying her muffin was delicious. My text to her about her cake was similar.

Martha and I both love cooking with peaches and blueberries, and I know we are not alone! I make my favorite summer fruit recipes each year, and often I will try something new as well.

As luck would have it, I found a new peach recipe to try as I continued my look through old cookbooks last week. I’ve had “Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand,” since 1995. The book is by the author and South Carolina peach farmer and is filled with family recipes.

The recipe that caught my eye was peach cornmeal muffins.

If you are a regular reader of my column, then you know how much I love muffins! Blueberry, chocolate chip, ham and cheese, banana nut — I love them all. But as many muffin recipes as I’ve made over the years, I don’t remember making one with cornmeal as a secondary ingredient. I was intrigued and had to try the recipe.

After a quick trip to the grocery store for white cornmeal, I made my muffins. Although Sanders’ recipe calls for peaches only, I also added fresh blueberries to my muffins. I love the combination of blueberries and peaches and knew it would be a good variation.

I made a few other changes as well. First, I didn’t have soft butter, so I melted mine before mixing with the sugar. I also used 2 tablespoons less than the stick of butter called for in the original recipe. And I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the muffins before baking.

My husband smelled the muffins baking before I did and commented on how good they smelled. This is always a good sign! We were both eager to give them a try.

Our first muffins were very warm from the oven when we ate them, so we got the full effect of the delicious cooked peaches and blueberries. We loved the muffins! The texture was different from my usual muffin, thanks to the cornmeal, making them very tender. It wasn’t until I ate a reheated muffin the next day that I really noticed the cornmeal taste. And I liked it a lot.

I will make this recipe again this summer, I am sure, and I’m already thinking of other ways to use what’s left of my cornmeal. Cornmeal pancakes perhaps?

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Peach Cornmeal Muffins

6 tablespoons butter (softened or melted)

12 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

12 cup white cornmeal

18 teaspoon salt

112 teaspoons baking powder

18 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 cup milk

1 cup finely chopped fresh peaches (about 2 medium)

12 to 1 cup fresh blueberries

Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg and again beat until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and nutmeg and mix well. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture in two parts, alternating with the milk, stirring after each addition until just combined. Add the fresh fruit and stir to blend.

Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full with the batter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until golden.

Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then gently remove muffins from muffin tins and allow to cool completely.

Adapted from “Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking”