August Advantage: Peach Cobbler Muffins with Spiced Pistachio and Ginger Crumb Topping

When a fresh peach is at its prime, not only is it sweet, but it has a whole range of wonderful refreshing and thirst quenching properties. The flesh is smooth, tender, and juicy, and the mouthfeel one gets from taking that first bite is a truly divine experience. I have cooked with peaches in all sorts of ways, but I especially love to bake with them. As they sit in a batter, the peaches get heavy and the sweetness concentrates to provide vibrant bursts of joy within a slab of baked goodness.

These fluffy and delicate muffins are incredibly moist, and they have the crunchiest tops you could wish for. The recipe combines the peach with some of its closest friends: almond, vanilla, and cinnamon and sets it in a light batter enriched with perky splashes of buttermilk. The crumb topping is in reality, a continuation of the previous post in which I made mango and peach tarts. Since I had leftover topping, I threw it on top of the muffins. While all of the ingredients within the batter marry together and become one, the crumb topping acts as the spicy sister. It has a character all on its own, and somehow it just works. The pistachios provide the crunch, but they are also wonderfully meaty, and the candied ginger is full of zing and sweetness. I’d say that these muffins are a yet another triumph in the breakfast kitchen.

Recipe: Peach Cobbler Muffins

Adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed peaches, preferably fresh

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
  • 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl together using a fork or your fingers. Mix until the mixture clumps together to form coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the peaches and be careful not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups and top with the crumb topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.

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