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Author Notes: I forgot how incredible a simple corn muffin griddled and browned with butter can be, until yesterday morning.
Eric and I took the commuter rail from Boston to Gloucester, MA.(pronounced "Glouwster") yesterday around 10:10am. We bought tickets to board the Seven Seas, trying to sight some humpback whales along the Gulf of Maine. 10am was the earliest rail from the North Station heading that direction, so we knew we'd miss the 8am tour ship. The second ship departed at 1:30 in the afternoon, leaving us nearly two hours to kill after we arrived to the quiet, small town at 11:32.
Starving we stumbled into an adorable cafe, only 6 tables deep. Two Sisters Coffee Shop. After we ordered heaps of food--accustomed to the more typical Boston portion-price ratio--Thick-cut homefries, "Scooner omlettes", a $4.95 plate of french toast made with in-house Portugese Sweet bread-- we'd thought we have to fight over the shared plate. But not actually. Everything was oversized in both portion and flavor.
The waitress pointed to the board, "You also get a choice of toast, anything from the whiteboard." "Anything?!" My eyes glazed over the extensive list, bulleted with everything from raisin pecan, to gluten free english muffins. Then, beneath the breads I read: "corn muffin and blueberry muffin". "Yep, anything on the board!" she assured. Bright-eyed, we each ordered ourselves a muffin. I went with corn.
They came to the table browned and fanned out, filling up all the white space on their plates. They looked just how momma used to serve them; sliced in pieces, buttered, and crusted on the stovetop. And these muffins where half the size of my head. Huge; you couldn't just slice them in half...they had to be sliced in quarters. I drizzled mine with maple syrup, and greased it with even more butter. No regrets. I devoured every crumb.
This morning I woke up haunted by muffin memories. Dreaming of them all over again, I made up a breakfast version that would eradicate all those cravings. It really did do the trick. And there are still crumbs caught in Eric's beard, so I think he also agrees with my sentiments. —Jerrelle Guy
box of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
cups AP flour (+ more for dusting)
stick of butter
teaspoon baking soda
tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the box of cornbread mix with the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together well
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and the maple syrup. Keep cold until ready to use
- Dice 1 stick of very cold butter into small pieces, and then add them into the flour ingredients, and cut into the ingredients with the back of a fork. Working it in, be sure to leave the butter at least pea-sized.
- Add in about 1/4 cup of the maple milk mixture. Just enough to bring the batter together and then stop adding. You don't want it sticky, just wet enough to form a dough.
- Empty the ingredients out onto a lightly floured surface, and pat together with your hands. Don't over-work, but bring the dough together into about a nine inch disc, pat down gently, so that it's about 1 inch in thickness.
- Slice the dough with a sharp knife like a pizza (into 8 pieces)
- Line them close together on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Drizzle the remaining maple and milk mixture on top of the scones, and bake until crusty brown on top.
- When ready, remove them from the oven, and cut them away from the others, then serve! Enjoy with an extra drizzling of maple syrup and a nice schmear of butter.