April 30th, 2009

Brown Sugar Peach Muffins

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Summer is fast approaching and that means fresh local fruit and simple baking that gets me out of the hot kitchen fast. Which reminded me, I had some peaches left over from the end of last summer still in the freezer. I know, you shouldn’t use frozen fruit that is 6 months old. But, whatever, I took a chance and they were just fine!

Muffins are my favorite way to bake something quickly using whatever I’ve got on hand. While I love those softball sized sunny-hued white flour and sugar numbers, I have a definite preference for the wholesome, healthy variety, especially for showcasing fresh fruit. These babies are made with spelt flour, providing a rustic, get-it-all-over-your-shirt crumb and a great wheaty flavor. And since we all hate overmixed, rubbery muffins, spelt flour is a great choice. It has such a low gluten content that the dangers of overmixing are diminished, making it perfect for the trepidatious baker. I also use applesauce for moisture, a lower fat content, and to keep the sugar to a minimum.

Got my mind on my muffins and my muffins on my mind

Does anyone else cool their muffins this way? Once they’re cool enough to handle, I gently give them a twist and flip them sideways to cool the rest of the way. I love that whiff of spice you get when you first lift the muffin up.

Brown Sugar Peach Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Muffin perfection with a hint of spice, lots of juicy peaches and a sprinkle of brown sugar on top. This recipe is plenty versatile, I can see using strawberries or mango and switching the spices up to suit your fruit.

2 1/2 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
1 teapoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chopped peaches (leave skins on or not, whichever you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Make a well in the center and add the applesauce, almond milk, vinegar, canola oil and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until mostly combined. Add the peaches and combine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Scoop batter into muffin tins, they will hold their shape a little bit if you use an ice cream scoop. The batter should almost fill the entire tin. Sprinkle one or two teaspoons of brown sugar on top of each. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, or just flip them up in the tin to cool, as shown above.


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