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 millstones, 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.
Blueberry Orange Corn Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups The Old Mill Unbleached Plain Flour
- 1 cup The Old Mill White or Yellow Cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Place the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 1/2-inch muffin pans with paper liners.
- Place the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the buttermilk, milk, eggs, orange zest, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend. Pour into the cornmeal mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.
- Spoon the batter into paper liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Place the pans, in the oven, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 10 to 12 minutes.