It is with a heavy, and possibly clogged, heart that I inform you, Dear Eaters, that the way to make almost anything taste better is… by adding cream. This is a bitter pill, I know. Years ago I tried a scone at a little tea shop and before I could finish inquiring, “What makes this taste so-” the proprietress replied, “Cream.” “Yes, but what makes it so flaky, light and-” “Cream.” “But-” “Cream.”
Because the temptation to add it to everything is always with me, I make a point of not having a carton of whipping cream in my fridge. But the other day my husband made a rare dessert request for lime pie, which necessitated the purchase of a pint. We enjoyed the pie with my friend Kirstin after our Labor Day Lasagna (it’s a tradition now). I tried to leave the unwhipped portion in her fridge but at the evening’s close she thrust it into my arms and ran. Another woman trying to avoid her weakness, I see.
So, Monday means muffins, but I haven’t been satisfied with my Monday Muffin recipe in a great long time. The results have been dry and furthermore, tasteless. The texture says not “Joy” or “Luxury,” but “Duty.” They were never supposed to be a dessert but they had become drudgery. However, the addition of just a quarter cup of cream made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. I have also found that my old stand-by – whole wheat pastry flour – is not applicable here. These are always best made with spelt flour and almond meal. See for yourself:
1 1/4 cups white spelt flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of flax meal
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons rice bran oil
Whatever fresh berry or dried fruit you like. Currants work well.
Mix dries. Mix in wets. Distribute into 12 muffin cups (I can usually only stretch it to 11, actually) and bake 11 minutes at 400 F.
Genevieve, you asked for my muffin recipe long ago and I failed to come through, only because I didn’t want you to foist substandard baked goods on your family. Morning can be such a volatile time in a household, I didn’t want to upset the fragile mood with unpalatable muffins. But this recipe seems fit to share.
If you don’t have cream you can use 3/4 of a cup of milk and then melted butter in place of the rice bran oil, but it isn’t quite the same. You might think, as I once did, that replacing one cow emination with another would yield the same result but it is not so. So make them right, if only just once, and then cherish the memory. I am tempted to start making them this way all the time but I don’t think age 42 is the right time for me to incorporate more saturated fat into my diet. Though two of my great-grandmother’s lived to age 98. One of them was toothless, no doubt from sweets. And they were both a bit on the hefty side…
But never mind that; here’s to long life! And to Mondays; may their burden be lightened by muffins, which will in turn be lightened (in texture) by cream, which will, in time, burden us with fat.