Monday, September 23, 2013

Corn Muffins with Grapes

We do not all feel harvest time in the same way that our grandparents did.  Then, even city-dwellers were aware of when certain foods were at their peak and ready for market.  We see grapes all year these days but some varieties, like red grapes from our northern hemisphere, are abundant now.  It's nice to acknowledge the harvest season and nicer still when you can make something easy and pure. 

These corn muffins with grapes are a fun school lunch or after-school treat.  Adults really like the grape surprise inside too.  Simply take your favorite corn muffin recipe (or the one below) and drop a few grapes into each muffin tin before baking. 

This recipe was inspired by Harvest Grape Breads, a wonderful slightly sweet flat bread or focaccia from Tuscany. After looking around at Harvest Grape Bread recipes, I found a Harvest Cake made with grapes, olive oil and semolina.  Thus was born an original recipe for corn muffins with grapes.  In the recipe below, you may substitute olive oil for up to half of the butter. 

Corn Muffins with Grapes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup red seedless grapes (about 40 grapes) washed and dried

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease a regular sized muffin pan (12 muffins) with vegetable oil or spray.
  3. Melt butter in microwave or small pot over low heat.
  4. While butter melts combine cornmeal, flour and salt in a small bowl. 
  5. Stir melted butter and sugar together in a medium bowl.
  6. Add eggs and beat until well blended. 
  7. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture sugar mixture.
  8. Stir in cornmeal mixture until well blended and few lumps remain. 
  9. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin pan.
  10. Press a few grapes into the tops of each muffin.  (Batter will rise up around grapes.
  11. Bake at 375˚F for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center muffin comes away clean.