As Executive Pastry Chef of The Water Club for 15 years I had to personally taste each batch of corn bread to ensure quality control. (Yes I gained 40 pounds over 15 years.) Our corn bread was famous. It was baked just before service and throughout the dinner rush to ensure freshness and warmth. The only problem though was that I never got a chance to jazz it up and give it new flavors.
This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to create a corn bread muffin with some cranberries. I have been testing the recipe for the last couple of weeks trying several variations. Just fresh cranberries alone was too tart and no depth of flavor.
Cranberry and ground ginger was captivating but still too tart. Fresh cranberry, ground ginger, crystallized ginger was better. Brown sugar, half fresh cranberry, half dried cranberry, ground ginger, crystallized ginger and a little lemon zest was perfect!
Avec Amour, Victoria & Alexander
Crystallized Ginger Cranberry Corn Muffins
Yield – 24 Muffins
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Stick Unsalted Butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup Canola Oil
3 Eggs, large
1 Cup Tightly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
5 oz Fresh Cranberries
5 oz Dried Cranberries
1 Tablespoon Crystallized Ginger, finely minced
½ teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1.In a plastic measuring cup melt the butter in the microwave on 30 second bursts. Set aside.
2. Put dried cranberries in a plastic measuring cup, cover with cold water, microwave for 2 minutes, using a sieve drain off the water. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl smush together sugar, zest and Ginger.
4. In a large bowl with a whisk stir together the butter, eggs, sugars, zest, Candied Ginger and buttermilk, add the cornmeal let sit for at least 5 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt with a spatula, stir in the cornmeal mixture.
Gently fold in the cranberries.
6. Using an ice cream scoop distribute the batter among 24 1/2 cup muffin tins lined with muffin papers.
or in a mini muffin pan
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden. Allow them to cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold them.