Summer Peach and Almond Muffins

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA/SYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

These muffins are straightforward and delicious. Most any stone fruit can be substituted for the peaches: nectarines, cherries, plums or apricots. Other nuts can replace the almonds as well, but do remember to toast them as this really enhances the nut flavor.

1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cup peaches, unpeeled and diced in
½-inch cubes
¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup brown sugar, to sprinkle on muffin tops before baking

Prepare the Master Muffin Recipe and add the spices in with the dry ingredients. The vanilla can be added with the eggs to the creamed butter–sugar mixture. After the Master Muffin batter is complete, fold in the peaches and almonds. Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top and sprinkle each muffin with brown sugar before baking. Baking times should be similar to that of the master recipe.

 

MASTER MUFFIN RECIPE
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 24 MINI MUFFINS OR 12 LARGE MUFFINS

¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter
2 eggs, room temperature
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400°F (on convection setting, if you have it). In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix until just combined. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and then slowly add to the creamed butter followed by the milk. Stir until the mixture just comes together. Do not overmix—a few lumps are fine.

Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake approximately 12–15 minutes for mini muffins and 20–25 minutes for large muffins. The muffins are done when the muffin tops spring back, the edges are golden brown and/or a cake tester comes out clean.

*Note:  I sometimes replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole-wheat white flour, which won’t much affect the recipe but adds a slight nutty flavor and almost imperceptible crunch.

Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!