Corn and Apricot Muffins with Orange Essence

  • Rating ****

Makes 12 muffins

Whole grain cornmeal has a fuller flavor than regular cornmeal milled from degerminated corn. To determine what kind of cornmeal a package contains, look closely at the label.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots (10 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup fine-ground, whole-grain yellow cornmeal (4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk


In a food processor, process 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest until pale orange, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the dried apricots for ten

2-second pulses, until chopped fine. Transfer to a medium microwave-safe bowl; add the orange juice to the apricots, coverthe bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until simmering, about

1 minute. Let the apricots stand, covered, until softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Strain the apricots; discard the juice.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the remaining granulated and the dark brown sugar to the eggs; whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add half the sour cream and half the milk and whisk to combine; whisk in the remaining sour cream and milk until combined. Stir the remaining orange zest and strained apricots into the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined and evenly moistened. Do not over mix. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, dropping it to form a mound. Sprinkle a portion of orange sugar over each mound of bater. Do not level or flatten the surface of the mounds.

Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin from front to back halfway through the baking time. Cool the muffins in the tin 5 minutes. Do not invert the baked muffins; use a paring knife to lift the muffins from the tin one at a time and transfer to a wire rack. Cool the muffins 5 minutes longer; serve warm.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 8521

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