Cornbread is King

Cornbread is truly King in a small town just north of me.  South Pittsburgh, TN is the home of the National Cornbread Festival.  It is held the last weekend of April each year.  The first year we lived in these parts it rained and we opted not to attend.  This year we had the opportunity to visit the festival.  My husbands and I both really enjoyed Hammer’s Cornbread Alley.  Were the recipes gluten free–NO.  I did pay the price and leanred that my decision to be gluten-free was the right one.

Nine different organizations in the area competed for the honor of having the best original recipe for cornbread.  For the price of $4 you were given a plate and an opportunity to take a stroll down Cornbread Alley.  At the end of your stroll there is a place where one can savor the samples and add a dollar or two vote to the individual  jars set-up for each entry.  This year Hubby and I enjoyed everything from Lemon Coffee Cake to Timber Hushpuppies.

Currently, there are many of us creative cooks, traveling the globe together on a Culinary Quest.  Our challenge is simple, to develop an original “cornbread recipe” and share it with others.  Well I took up that challenge.  With blueberries being in season I couldn’t resist.  We love blueberry muffins.  But how about Blueberry-Lemon Cornbread Muffins that are gluten free? Yesterday, I put on my creative cap and went to work in the kitchen.  I came up with a delicious muffin that is slightly sweet and loaded with juicy, plump blueberries.

Blueberry-Lemon Cornbread Muffins (Gluten Free)

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (Stone ground adds more texture.)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 t. grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons King Arthur Cake Enhancer (Optional) 
1 cup organic plain yogurt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled or
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon zested lemon peel 
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
coarse sugar (Optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

In the medium bowl to a stand mixer add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg.  If you are using the King Arthur Cake Enhancer add it now.  Whisk together at medium speed to thoroughly combine.

Add in the yogurt, coconut oil or butter and eggs.  Beat with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy.  With a spatula fold in blueberries and lemon peel.  Divide batter between a 12 tin muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Lightly sprinkle tops with coarse sugar if desired.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 210°.  

Yield:  12 muffins

The muffins were made with a coarse grind cornmeal and polenta could probably be used successfully.  Also, the flour was Artisan Flour Blend from Pamela’s Products.  The flour blend can be used on a cup for cup exchange for all-purpose flour and has the starches and binding agents added.

The King Arthur Cake Enhancer is listed as optional.  I have found that using this in gluten-free baked goods helps to extend the shelf life.  Also, I love the crunch that the coarse sugar gives to the muffin tops.  

My youngest granddaughter loves blueberries.  As she has said over and over “They are my favorite.”  I may save her a muffin or 2 or at the rate they are vanishing it may be necessary to make another batch for my next Grandma Visit.


    • That sounds good, too, but as pecans are hard to get here and quite expensive, too, I’d rather stick with it as is. Maybe the pecans would make another version on their own. Endless possibilities…

    • I think you are right. Pecans here are also quite expensive. For years my neighbors had a pecan tree that provided us with all the pecans we could eat and then we moved.

  1. I am new to gluten free baking but really wanted to try this recipe. The cornbread was very nice texture wise. My previous experiences with gluten free was more reminiscent of cardboard so I was very pleased. The blueberries though stole the show for me. Each bite was like a little molten treasure and I thought pairing with lemon zest was inspired. Thank you for expanding my horizons!

    • Glad that this gluten free experience was more positive than your previous ones. Thank you much for trying the muffins. As always your comments are appreciated.

  2. I made these muffins today for breakfast, and they were sublime! Just the perfect sweetness, and the lemon zest really was the perfect addition. DH and I both loved these and would rate them 5 stars!
    They were made for the Cornbread is King Challenge.

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