Monday, August 11, 2008

Blueberry Peach Muffins

There are few things more wonderful than fresh peaches in season, but sometimes they make loving them so hard ('tis ever thus where such burning passions rage). The problem is that their charm is so inextricably bound up with their mercurial nature: you bring them home from the market, hard and unyielding, and it seems as if it will be a week before they're fit to eat. And then, overnight, in the mere blink of an eye, they cross that crucial line between ripe and rotting and are fit for nothing but smoothies. Not that there's anything wrong with smoothies, but I had higher hopes for this last batch. Since it was Sunday, which always makes me think "muffins," and we also had a whole lot of wild blueberries, I thought I'd combine the two in a little breakfast experiment.

I was a bit worried that the peaches would turn to mush in the batter, but in the event they held up nicely, and---if I say so myself---these turned out to be delicious: moist, fruity and somewhere between a muffin and a cupcake. And since they have whole wheat pastry flour, almost no fat and only 1/4 cup maple syrup in the whole 2 dozen, you can smear on all the jam and/or Earth Balance you want with total impunity, and they'll still be healthy! That said, they're so yummy on their own that they really don't need anything at all, except maybe a nice cup of tea (as opposed to one of those evil, ill-natured cups of tea that are best avoided). Peach season is still happening, so I'll definitely be making these again soon; probably very soon, because they're already mostly gone.

Blueberry Peach Muffins

~ 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus 1/2 cup for tossing with the fruit
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp.baking soda
~ 1.5 tsp.salt
~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger
~ 1/3 cup applesauce
~ 1 tbsp. canola oil
~ 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
~ 6 oz. plain or vanilla soy yogurt
~ 1.5 cups soy, rice or other non-dairy milk
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
~ 2 cups chopped, ripe peaches
~ 2 cups fresh blueberries

~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit
~ Toss the peaches and blueberries in the 1/2 cup flour; this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.
~ In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together, making sure they are thoroughly combined; you don't want to encounter any big, bitter hunks of baking powder!
~ In a separate container, combine the wet ingredients and add them to the dry ones, along with the fruit/flour mixture.
~ Mix well, and spoon into 2 greased tins or muffin cups. This recipe will easily make 2 dozen muffins, so you can be generous with the batter.
~ Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
~ Allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes or so before turning them out. These are delicious hot or warm, but I think they taste best at room temperature.

Now that's what I call some muffiny goodness.

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