To start things out, I’ll admit that I can be a bit repetitive.
First, you’re right that I have made ginger peach muffins before (even if I didn’t report about it on this blog). My co-worker certainly remembers this: when I brought the muffins in this post into work to share, she asked, “are these the ones from the blog that are really cupcakes?” They aren’t–and I like to think these muffins I am about to tell you about are a lot healthier, and just as delicious.
Secondly, you’re also right that I’ve been caught enthusing about Kim Boyce in this space. Enough that the last time that Molly was over and looking to borrow some cookbooks she said “I know you won’t lend me this one as you’re always using it.” She was right.
A few weeks ago, when Marie was visiting with new baby M, I bought a few peaches at the grocery store. Some were nearly ripe, others still unappealingly green and firm around the pit. I was roasting some eggplant and threw these in the oven at the same time, each half with a pat of butter in the hollowed out pit, and with a light drizzling of honey. (I threw in some apricots that were about to go for good measure). A perfectly ripe peach may be impossible to improve on, but a roasted peach, caramelized around the edges and lusciously soft in the center, comes close. It also perks up the less ideal specimens, which let’s face it, is often what you get at the grocery store (or if you just can’t be patient enough to let them fully ripen).
When Molly asked me the next day for some ideas for oat flour–her email started out, “Hey Quirky Flour Lady”–I was reminded of this recipe. (I’m sure Molly was not shocked to have me bring up Kim Boyce again. Since the exchange was over email, maybe she even shook her head a little).
I don’t know what Molly’s made with her oat flour, but I immediately knew what I was doing with the leftover roast peaches, despite the fact that in the same email exchange I told Molly that I had declared a muffin moratorium due to my sons’ messes while eating them. Not a lot of willpower there on my part.
I’m evidently the Quirky Flour Lady, so I already had the oat flour, but if you don’t, you can also made it quite easily by running oatmeal through the food processor. In fact, I had all the ingredients in hand except for the sour cream, but I had another acidic dairy product in my fridge: low-fat kefir. Suddenly I realized (due to no virtuous impulse on my part, but rather luck) that these were going to be a “lightened up” version of the recipe in Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours: roasted peaches rather than peach slices sautéed in butter, low-fat kefir instead of sour cream.
As you can see, they turned out perfectly. Kefir, I’ve noticed, seems to produce an exceptionally lofty rise in baked goods (though I’d happily have used buttermilk or yogurt as well), and the blackened edges of my roasted peaches nestled in the crumb ensured my muffins were as pretty as they were delicious.
- For the Roast Peaches
- 2 ripe but firm peaches peaches, ripe, but firm
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 1 T. honey
- Dry mix:
- 1 c. oat flour
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 3/4 t. kosher salt
- Wet mix:
- 3 oz (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, then cooled slightly (just melt the butter first, and let it sit while you do everything else)
- 3/4 c. whole or 2% milk
- 1/2 c. plain kefir (substitute buttermilk or plain yogurt)
- 1 egg
- 3 T. finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the peaches in half around the equator and remove the pits. Line a rimmed (preferably) baking sheet with parchment paper (this will substantially speed cleanup). Place the peaches, cut side up on the baking sheet and divide the butter between the hollows of each half. Drizzle lightly with honey (but remember that the oven will bring out the peaches’ sweetness). Roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, slice each half lengthwise into 6 slices.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 350. Rub your muffin tins with butter or line with muffin cups.
- Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Stir the wet ingredient together in another bowl, and add these to the bowl along with the chopped candied ginger and stir together gently until combined. The batter will still be lumpy. This is ok.
- Scoop the batter into 11 muffin tins using a spoon or ice cream scoop. The batter should be slightly mounded over the edges. Lay a couple of peach slices over each muffin, nestling them gently into the batter.
- Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins are ready when the they smell nutty and are golden. Take the tin out of the oven and as soon as you are able, twist the muffins and lay them to cool on their sides in the tin. This allows the muffins to cool without getting soggy.