Cast Iron

Three Sisters Iroquois Corn Muffins

August 14, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 12 small cakes or muffins
Author Notes

The Iroquois practiced sustainable agriculture through their inter-cropping techniques growing together corn, beans, and squash, which they called the three sisters. They really understood the balance of soil chemistry. This recipe showcases the "big sister" corn, which is the umbrella plant in the three sisters trilogy, alongside beans and sugar pumpkin . —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup gluten-free organic brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup white corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup corn, cooked/steamed, preferably cut from the cob
  • 2 ounces cooked cranberry beans (fresh or canned), coarsely chopped , then mashed
  • 1 cup organic cooked sugar pumpkin
  • demerara sugar for topping, optional
  • pumpkin butter or cranberry and hot pepper jelly suggested for serving
  1. Mix the dry ingredients of flour, corn meal, starch, salt, baking powder and soda, with optional spices, together. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the sugar and syrup together with the butter or oil. Stir in the egg and pumpkin. Next combine the dry ingredients with these. Fold in the mashed beans. Stir in the corn.
  3. Line 12 mini cake molds (2" x 3") or a muffin tin with parchment paper (or oil a cast iron corn muffin pan). Pour the batter into the cups. Top each with a sprinkle of demerara sugar for a crunchy effect on top, if desired.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Serve while warm with cranberry hot pepper jelly, pumpkin butter, or other jam of your choice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • The Enchanted Cook
    The Enchanted Cook
  • Lizthechef
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • gingerroot
  • Sagegreen

12 Reviews

The E. August 21, 2010
What a beautiful picture - so appetizing!
Sagegreen August 21, 2010
Thank you!
Lizthechef August 16, 2010
Amazing recipe and headnote. Where DO you find your energy?
Sagegreen August 16, 2010
Thanks so much. You should see the energy of my farm family friends! They are excited to test out my planting design research on heirloom species for next summer in a quarter acre plot.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 16, 2010
I love the headnote of food history - so interesting. And the recipe really looks great. Saved this one!
Sagegreen August 16, 2010
Thank you. There is so much history to the planting design schemes of growing these together, too!
adamnsvetcooking August 15, 2010
I always like reading your headings for your recipes... and this one is no different. This also is another recipe that sounds pretty good, and its already saved in my archive!
Sagegreen August 15, 2010
Thanks. I just adjusted the sweetener and can live with the 3/4 cup amount.
omarston August 14, 2010
Sounds healthy and delicious. Your ahead of your time!
Sagegreen August 17, 2010
Thanks to the Swartz family for all their interest in the background research, we will plan a demo garden for next year. They are really innovative with all that they do as you can see from their website:
gingerroot August 14, 2010
I love this recipe - the flavors, the historical significance (even if you used canned pumpkin and soybeans for this version) and the fact that the cakes are gluten free. I'm definitely saving this and will try soon.
Sagegreen August 14, 2010
Thanks. So far everyone here loves them!