In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a delicious muffin, perfect for an afternoon snack. I found the recipe in “From a Southern Oven: The Savories, The Sweets,“ by Jean Anderson (Wiley; $32.50).
(makes 1 dozen)
-2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup firmly packed fresh peach puree, about 2 to 3 medium peaches (see tip below)
-1/3 cup finely chopped dried peaches
-1 large egg
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (no substitute), softened
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
-1/3 cup peach preserves
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spritz 12 muffin pan cups with nonstick oil-and-flour baking spray and set aside. Whisk flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in medium-size bowl and set aside.
2. Combine peach puree, dried peaches, egg, butter, lemon juice and almond extract in food processor and pulse three or four times to combine. Add flour mixture, pulse three or four times — only enough to combine, no more or your muffins will be tough. Scrape side of processor bowl and stir batter once. Spoon into muffin pan cups so each is two-thirds full.
3. Slide pan onto middle oven shelf and bake about 25 minutes until muffins begin to pull from sides of cups, and cake tester inserted in middle of one muffin comes out clean.
4. Transfer pan to wire rack and brush immediately with peach preserves. Cool 10 minutes, then loosen around edges with thin-blade spatula and lift muffins onto wire rack.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature with or without butter.
Tip: If fresh peaches are out of season, frozen unsweetened sliced peaches are the best substitute. Use 1 1/3-1 1/2 cups. Thaw, drain as dry as possible pressing out excess liquid, puree in your food processor, then spoon into a 1 cup dry measure (the kind used for measuring flour), packing as you go and leveling the top with the broad side of a small spatula. Substituting canned peaches for fresh is a bit trickier because they’re mushier.