We’re in the thick of summertime, which means children are out of school and looking for things to do. One of our favorite ways to keep kids busy – and let them learn, too – is to cook and bake for others.
A perfect recipe for kids to bake is this one for corn muffins. A little different than our corn muffins baked at The Old Mill Restaurant, these have a little sugar, orange juice, and fresh blueberries. And best of all, you can make them with just a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.
For summertime baking with children, all you really need is a wooden spoon and bowl. Some of the best muffins are made this way – beating with an electric mixer can over-mix the batter and make muffins tough. And with an ice cream scoop, kids can portion out the right amount of batter to fill the muffin pan.
Our cornmeal is stone-ground the old-fashioned way at our 1830 gristmill here in Pigeon Forge, TN. In nearly 200 years we are only on our second set of mill stones, which weigh about a ton apiece. The stones rub together to grind the meal, and the power to turn the stones comes from the Little Pigeon River.
So, here’s to summer, kids at home, baking, and our American milling tradition nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.Print
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or peaches
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups The Old Mill Plain Unbleached Flour
- ½ cup The Old Mill Yellow Cornmeal
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 lemon, zested
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream, divided use
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons sanding or granulated sugar, for dusting the top
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- For the Summer Fruit Filling: Clean the fruits or berries you’ve chosen. Slice large berries and fruits, like the strawberries or peaches, into a large bowl. Leave the smaller berries, like blackberries and raspberries, whole. Pour sugar over them and stir to combine. Let it sit at least 30 minutes or until it becomes syrupy.
- For the Shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor with blade attachment or large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest. Stir or pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse with the processor or cut in with two knives or a pastry cutter until the butter resembles pea-sized pieces.
- In measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, buttermilk and egg. With food processor on, pour in the liquid and process until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Or, if using a mixing bowl, lightly whisk liquids and add to the bowl. Stir until the mixture resembles soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead to bring dough together. Roll dough into a 6×9-inch rectangle, about one inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into six 3-inch squares. Place the squares on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining ¼ cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon coarse sugar each. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
- Bake until golden brown, from 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside.
- For the Whipped Topping: Whip the heavy cream and sugar using an electric mixer on high power until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- To assemble, cut the shortcakes in half and place one half on each serving plate. Top with a big spoonful of Summer Fruit Filling. Place the other half of the shortcake on top. Dollop with Whipped Topping. Drizzle any extra fruit juices over the top and serve.