Waiting for local tomatoes to be at their peak is worth it for this recipe. The incredible tomato flavor will shine through and is really delicious with the addition of feta cheese. These muffins work well with grilled meats or you can simply serve them with corn on the cob and a green salad for a light summer meal.
For this recipe, I like to reduce the sugar by half. To the dry ingredients in the master recipe, add 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Mix batter together as you would for the master recipe.
At the end of the mixing process, fold in by hand 1 cup fresh, ripe tomatoes (seeded and diced into ½-inch cubes) and 1 cup crumbled feta cheese. Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top. Baking times should be approximately the same as in the Master Muffin Recipe.
MASTER MUFFIN RECIPE
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 24 MINI MUFFINS OR 12 LARGE MUFFINS
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter
2 eggs, room temperature
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400°F (on convection setting, if you have it). In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix until just combined. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and then slowly add to the creamed butter followed by the milk. Stir until the mixture just comes together. Do not overmix—a few lumps are fine.
Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake approximately 12–15 minutes for mini muffins and 20–25 minutes for large muffins. The muffins are done when the muffin tops spring back, the edges are golden brown and/or a cake tester comes out clean.
*Note: I sometimes replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole-wheat white flour, which won’t much affect the recipe but adds a slight nutty flavor and almost imperceptible crunch.
Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!