I don’t know about you guys, but I am clinging to this summer like my life depends on it. This time of year seems fleeting and fragile, and I want to hold on to it for as long as possible.
Peaches are one of my favourite summer fruits. I believe their lusciousness and fragility warrants only eating them when they are in season and perfectly ripe, and so at this time of year I eat as many as I can. The Italian peaches available here pale in comparison to the juicy Oakanagan orbs I grew up with, but they’ll do with no other choice nearby.
These muffins were part of a brunch spread I made for a dear friend’s wedding earlier this summer. Made with a combination of three flours, the muffin base is sturdy and nutty, yet surprisingly delicate. Sour cream provides a bit of tang, and a touch light brown muscovado sugar sweetens the mixture just so. It’s not often I find myself licking muffin batter out of the bowl, but there it was.
Peaches appear twice. First, they’re finely diced and stirred into the batter where they mellow into little pockets of peachiness once baked. Then, they’re thinly sliced and draped across the top of each unbaked muffin, the red and yellow crescent moon caramelizing ever so slightly as they bake.
I’d highly recommend you make a batch of these while the season’s peaches are still available. And since muffins freeze so well, you could be enjoying peaches and cream muffins weeks beyond the last fresh peach.
Peaches and Cream Muffins Recipes:
If peaches aren’t handy, I’m sure these muffins would be amazing with other summer fruit. Blackberries especially come to mind. To make oat flour simply whirl rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender until a sandy-fine flour is formed.
Makes 10 muffins. Adapted from Good to the Grain.
2 ripe peaches, one diced, one thinly sliced
1 cup oat flour (see headnotes)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup light brown muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsps (90g) butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line 10 muffin cups with muffin cases, or grease the tins.
Prepare the peaches. Slice each in half and twist to remove from the stone. Dice one peach into small (about 1cm) dice. The other, thinly slice. Set aside.
Sift oat flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl combine melted butter, milk, sour cream, and the egg and whisk well to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just barely combined. Fold in the diced peach.
Spoon the batter evenly into 10 muffin cases, and top each with one or two thin slices of peach.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan once. The muffins should be slightly puffed and golden on top, and a toothpick inserted towards the center should come out clean. Remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Power to the peach! Peaches are native to China, spread to the rest of the world along the Silk Road, and are in the rose family along with nectarines, plums, and almonds. Fresh peaches are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, especially if you consume the fuzzy skin. They contain a moderate amount of the antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta carotene. There is some evidence that eating fruits rich in vitamin A may be protective against some cancers. Peaches also contain flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants which are protective against free radicals and reactive oxygen species.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014