There’s something wistful about the start of September.
It’s filled with subtle changes; the days get shorter and there’s a moodiness in the air, the leaves start turning and there’s an early morning chill signaling summer’s inevitable end.
I’ve always loved this time of year; it feels contemplative as we shift focus from hazy summer days to the drearier days ahead.
There’s also a lightness to this time of year, bursts of perfect sunshiny days reminding us that summer isn’t quite over.
This is the time we ease back into the kitchen; roasting vegetables, baking and cooking decadent porridges again.
We fired up the oven this evening, slow roasting okra with hatch peppers and heirloom tomatoes.
I save cornmeal muffins for this time of the year; they’re summery and breezy, easy to whip up on cooler evenings when turning on the oven doesn’t feel stifling.
Aromatic flavours wafts through my tiny kitchen as it bakes and makes my heart happy.
These muffins are sweet, with hints of nutmeg and cardamom for warmth and topped with a sprinkle of pearl sugar to boost the cornmeal’s nutty crunchiness.
They’re just right for evenings around here, these delicate muffins, served warm with a pot of tea and a good book.
It’s perfect for lingering as darkness falls… as the sounds of the seagulls filter away and the 9 O’Clock Gun goes off in the distance.
There’s a touch of lightness and warmth to these muffins that is a little like this time of year.
- 1 cup almond milk or other nut-milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal or dry polenta
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 cup corn oil or other vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweet yellow corn kernels (I used frozen corn)
- 1/4 cup pearl/nib sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line muffin pan with liners
- Combine almond milk with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle
- Sift flour, cornmeal and corn starch together in a large bowl, add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cardamom, and mix
- In a separate bowl, mix almond milk mixture with vegetable oil and sugar
- Add vanilla extract and corn kernels
- Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until batter is smooth
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan to about 3/4th full each
- Sprinkle pearl sugar evenly over the muffin batter
- Place in the oven and bake for 18 – 25 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin just comes out clean
- Allow muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely