When I was a child we used to go over to the neighbours’ house for a cuppa. They were houseproud people, and had a wooden deck out the back covered by a decorative grape vine. There they would serve tea in a pot, and often a loaf-cake. The interesting thing about the loaf-cake is that it was served with butter. The butter was presumably provided in case you found the loaf-cake so healthy that you needed to butter it.
At the time it seemed crazy to me to cook the healthy loaf-cake recipe from the side of the All-Bran packet and then butter it. Why not bake something that had some butter in it in the first place?
With age, the attraction of recipes without butter has become something I can relate to, and I’m even guilty of baking them from time to time. These Cornbread Muffins were brought to my attention by Kathryn from Limes and Lycopene (and perhaps making friends with nutritionists is similar to growing up, in that both things make you rethink the buttery mudcake in your diet).
I used a gluten free flour blend for the flour component of these polenta-based muffins. The only further change I’d make to this recipe is to add a tablespoon of mustard or curry powder to the batter, because the pickled peppers and dried herbs I used didn’t spread their flavour through the muffins as well as I would like. These Cornbread Muffins are healthy enough that you could have them for lunch instead of bread, and if you don’t want to butter them, then have them with hommous, or a nice bowl of soup.
You can read the Recipe for Cornbread Muffins by Martha Rose Shulman at the New York Times.