peach cobbler muffins
Really good, fully-ripe local peaches are now making their way to farm stands here in the Hudson Valley. Up until now we’ve had some okay ones, but I encountered many tasteless, hard peaches in the past month too. Trying to blanch a hard peach stinks.
There’s nothing quite like biting into that first juicy, chin-dripping peach of the summer…it is the taste of summer.
The past year’s erratic weather patterns—record spring highs followed by cold snaps—caused much speculation about the summer’s fruit crops. I unfortunately haven’t seen any sour cherries this month, nor do I think I will (boo-hoo!). Thanks goodness we’ve got peaches.
I came across this interesting piece on The New York Times site…
And guess when it was published? The August 9 date probably gives you a clue that it wasn’t this year, but it wasn’t last either…it was written over 125 years ago and we’re still dealing with the same issues.
Scrumptious peaches warrant celebration. While they need no adornment, of course I can’t resist baking them into a pie or muffins—it’s the hedonist in me.
And Ffrench just flat out won’t accept that watching-your-waistline excuse. “You can bake something — keep a couple of cookies yourself — and then give the rest away. That way nobody is getting a whole big box of cookies, or a giant cake that they can’t eat. Share the love.”
And have I got a recipe for you to share. If you even just like peaches, you’re going to love these muffins. Warm from the oven, the peaches in this irresistible morning treat become creamy, the taste reminiscent of peach cobbler.
These muffins are the perfect sweet ending to a weekend brunch, that is, if they make it to your table. It’s hard to resist eating them straight from the oven, steamy and moist.
I can’t take credit for this recipe however. It comes from former Magnolia Bakery owner Allysa Torey. If they had to, my family would wait in line for these muffins, just like Magnolia devotees used to queue up for cupcakes in the West Village. Bleecker Street is no longer the only outlet for the famed baked goods though. Magnolia cupcakes are available in numerous bakeries across the country, and even in Bloomingdales’ Dubai outpost. Now there’s a thought.
The only downside to this muffin is that they call for cake flour, which may not be a staple in your pantry. If not, just replace the 1-1/2 cups cake flour with 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Peach Cobbler Muffins
Adapated from Sour Cream Peach Streusel Buns as they appeared in Allysa Torey’s At Home with Magnolia: Classic American Recipes from the Owner of Magnolia Bakery (Wiley, 2006)
For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
For the muffins:
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups blanched, peeled, and coarsely chopped ripe peaches (about 2 to 3 medium)*
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place paper liners in 20 standard muffin cups. (I used folded cupcake liners, also called tulip baking cups, in the photo above. I also used white peaches, which explains the lack of a pretty peachy-orange color in the muffins.)
2. For the topping: Stir the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Add the softened butter, and using two forks, gently incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it is clumpy and the size of large peas. Set aside.
3. For the muffins: Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Put the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together on medium for 3 minutes. Add the egg, and then the yolk, blending after each addition until fully incorporated, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Stir in the vanilla extract.
5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half of the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is moistened.
6. Add the sour cream and beat until just combined. With the mixer on low, add the rest of the dry ingredients until moistened, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with the spatula. Do not overbeat. Stir in the peaches using the spatula or a wooden spoon.
7. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full. Sprinkle each muffin with a tablespoon of topping.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pale golden and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.
*To blanch peaches, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Bring it to a boil. Gently lower the peaches into the boiling water with a slotted spoon or spider strainer. Allow the peaches to boil for a quick 30 seconds, then drain the peaches, leaving them in the pot. Quickly fill the pot with cold water. As you pick up the peaches under the running water, the skin should slip right off. Alternately, you can fill a bowl with ice water and plunge the peaches in the cold water after draining.