My family has a long tradition of vacationing on the "North Shore." In Minnesotan, that means the northeast corner of Minnesota (often called "the arrowhead") along the shore of Lake Superior. My grandparents brought my dad and his brothers there when they were young and the tradition has continued down through the generations.
I began making trips "up to the North Shore" as an infant as did my boys. We still make an annual trip each year with my extended family. Here’s a photo of my parents on our trip last fall. As you can see the fall color was beautiful.
As a child we often went during the hot summer months of July or August. One of the key reasons for making the trip in July was the opportunity to go blueberry picking.
Wild blueberries grow inland from the lake shore. My grandmother, mom, aunt, cousins, sister and I would hike in to the "secret" location and fill our buckets (and tummies) full of ripe luscious berries. There was no hiding the fact that we ate as many as we picked given the deep purple/blue berries had a way of staining your lips and tongue. It was quite an adventure for little girls as we often were on the lookout for bears who bedded down among the berry bushes at night. I guess they enjoyed a little snack prior to bedtime too.
Although those wild blueberries were tiny and required a lot of work we thoroughly enjoyed making all kinds of goodies with them upon our return. Blueberry pie or cobbler was a must as were fresh baked blueberry muffins.
When I found the recipe for Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins, the memories of my grandmother and blueberry picking came flooding back. She was an unbelievable baker and cook who had southern roots, having been raised in Arkansas, so cornmeal was a staple in her kitchen. I just know she would have loved this recipe, so I had to give it a try.
If you haven’t used cornmeal before you will find it in the flour section of your grocery store. It comes in both yellow and white. Both will work equally well in the recipe but the yellow will add a nice color to the muffins. For more cornmeal recipes just type "cornmeal" into the search bar at landolakes.com and you will find recipes for cookies, scones, cakes, biscuits, cornbread and more.
Now, on to making the muffins. Heat the oven to 400°F. Prepare the muffin pan by lining 12 cups with paper baking cups. If you don’t have paper baking cups grease the bottom of muffin pan cups. Paper baking cups make clean up easy and you don’t need to worry about the muffins sticking to the pan. I always keep paper baking cups on hand since I am all for easy clean up!
In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, sugar, butter and eggs. The recipe directions say to beat with a mixer on medium speed until well blended. I just used a wire whisk and it worked just fine.
Remember, if you don’t have buttermilk you can always substitute the following for every cup you need: 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.
Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the blueberries and additional sugar.
Mix until the flour is just moistened. If you stir too vigorously your muffins will have lots of "tunnels" and holes inside.
Gently stir in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. The muffin cups will be full.
Sprinkle the batter in each cup with reserved sugar.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 5 minutes and then carefully remove muffins from the pan. The muffins are best served warm with butter.
Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins are quick and easy to make. Try them for a fun Saturday morning breakfast or as an interesting addition to your supper plans. Let me know when you served them and what you think by leaving me a comment, and by rating and reviewing the recipe.
Come back in a few days when Liz will show an interesting way to use the new Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.