Apples and Corn. Summer meets Fall. These Apple, Cheddar, Corn Muffins are perfection.
I think the time in between seasons is my favorite when it comes to being inspired in the kitchen. Late-summer produce like tomatoes and corn are still going strong but early fall harvests like apples and figs are also starting to make an appearance. There are so many options!
This weekend the temperature dipped a little, which seemed like the perfect excuse to do some baking – I’ve been dreaming about the apple corn muffins that I came across in a bakery in Portland for weeks and I couldn’t wait to play with my own recipe.
I started with a great basic corn muffin recipe – it took a lot of research and experimentation to get it exactly how I wanted it – and then mixed in grated apple, fresh corn, and cheddar cheese. They’re delicious on their own, but seemed to cry out for a smear of honey butter on top.
When I was researching corn muffins, I was surprised by how many of them were full of white flour and sugar, with just a trivial amount of cornmeal. To me, that didn’t seem right – I felt like a corn muffin should have more cornmeal than anything else.
I played around with a few recipes until I settled on the perfect ratio of ingredients. These have a generous amount of cornmeal, with just enough flour to keep them light and fluffy. I also dialed the sugar way back, keeping just enough to give them a kiss of sweetness and help them brown nicely.
Shredded apple adds additional sweetness and keep the muffins moist, while ribbons of sharp cheddar baked into the muffins add a touch of savory flavor. Since corn is still in season, I couldn’t resist stirring a cup of kernels bit into the batter – I love the extra texture that they add to the muffins.
- 1 ¼ cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup butter melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 2 apples grated
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 stick butter softened
- ¼ cup honey
- salt to taste
- Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, until combined. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and melted butter. Put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes.
- Fold in the corn kernels, grated apple, and shredded cheddar.
- Divide the batter among the 12 prepared muffin cups. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, add the softened butter and honey to a bowl. Mix until smooth; season to taste with salt.
- Serve the muffins with honey butter. (Extra butter can be kept in the refrigerator.)