When we first moved to Virginia in the early eighties, every summer for years we visited renowned historic Colonial Williamsburg, which was only about 2 hours from our home in Northern Virginia. My son, Ryan, was only 7 years old when we first started making our yearly summer treks. Even at an early age, Ryan was in absolute awe of the enormous history of this colonial area of Williamsburg, that spans over 301 acres, and includes over 88 original 18th-century structures.
At the end of a delightful day of walking all over beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, taking a step back into the 18th-century, we would relax and enjoy dinner at one of the many charming historic taverns, filled with famed Virginia hospitality.
The servers, dressed in period attire, would set a basket of Indian Corn Mini Muffins on our table as soon as we were seated. The crispy exterior was hot and buttery, and biting into the corn sweetness of the moist interior, was one of our relished courses of the meal, especially Ryan's. :) Delicious, steaming hot muffins, served straight from the oven, originally baked in a fireplace or over an open fire.
On one of my early memorable visits, I purchased the cookbook published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, The Williamsburg Cookbook, containing a traditional array of recipes initially compiled and adapted by Letha Booth. My copy is now 30 years old, and I cherish it to this day.
Indian Corn Muffins are one of my favored recipes to create from the cookbook, with fond memories of Colonial Williamsburg. Sitting upon your Thanksgiving table, or alongside a spicy chili or steaming soup - this time of year couldn't be a more perfect occasion to savor them. Baked in a mini muffin pan, they rise beautifully to look plump and much larger than the mini cup they begin in.
I'm sure you'll delight in these muffins as much as my family has over the years.
Until next time…mangia! xox
Colonial Williamsburg Indian Corn Muffins
Makes 18 - 20 mini muffins
1 cup white cornmeal (I use Indian Head self-rising stone ground white cornmeal) (a little extra for "flouring" the cupcake pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted (a little extra for buttering the muffin tins)
Create the Indian Corn Muffins:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter and flour (using cornmeal) the mini muffin pans, 1-1/2 inches in diameter cup size. Shake and move the pan around so the cornmeal adheres to the sides and bottoms; then remove the excess cornmeal by patting the pan upside down.
Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Combine the lightly beaten eggs, milk, and melted butter and add to the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Do not over mix.
Spoon batter into the buttered muffin tins, filling each tin completely full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven and turn pan upside down so muffins drop out onto your serving piece. Serve hot from the oven!
For buttering the tins, I put a pat of butter between my fingers, and smear all over the tins, then use the cornmeal to "flour" the tins. Don't overdue the butter by leaving chunks, just be sure they are fully greased up. This gives a delicious buttery, crisp taste to the outsides of the muffins.