Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bake Together - Peach Cornmeal Muffins

Tonight I present you with my interpretation of Abby Dodge's Bake Together recipe for May.  Go visit Abby for the original recipe and to find out all about her Bake Together initiative.  Since I'm a fan of "Once Upon a Time" and I sort of want to see "Snow White and the Huntsman" - I opted to do a "Snow White" version.  Not with apples, but with white peaches and white cornmeal.

Now, when I read the recipe I thought to myself, "It makes six muffins?  Hmmm, that's a lot of work for 6 muffins."  So I opted to double it - keep that in mind when you read through my variation.  And, by the way - I ended up with 24 muffins and still through out some batter.  Not that I expect them to last very long.

So, if you want to follow along, I took Abby's recipe pretty closely.  But I used chopped white peaches instead of strawberries.  If you (like my husband) are unfamiliar with white peaches, they're a bit less tart and maybe more "peachy" than yellow peaches.  You'll probably only find them fresh.  You can make peeling them easier on yourself by dipping them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then placing them in an ice bath.  Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice over the chopped peaches and set them aside for now.

As Abby instructs, place all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  I replaced the yellow cornmeal with white, the AP flour with a GF AP flour, and added 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum.  (I also added some of King Arthur's Cake Enhancer - GF baked goods don't always keep well, and this helps).

The liquid ingredients are where I made most of the changes.  And most of those are just chemistry in action.  Well, and the fact that I was out of canola oil, so I used 6 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter.  Substitute 1 1/4 c.  whole milk for the buttermilk (remember, this was a double batch.  If you're making a single bathc - 1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp).  The buttermilk is there both for it's flavor and for it's acid.  Since we've put lemon juice in with our peaches, we don't really need it.  For flavoring, I added 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1 tsp vanilla.  Yes, the milk will curdle a little.  That's OK.

Now stir the liquids gently into the dry ingredients.  Here's where GF baking helps us out - it's pretty impossible to build gluten and make the muffins tough.  But overmixing is still to be avoided.

Bake as directed.

I topped mine with stabilized cinnamon whipped cream.  To make it, bloom 2 tsp of powdered unflavored gelatin in 2 Tbsp cold water.

In a bowl, begin whipping 2 c. of cream with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla.  Once the cream starts to hold it's shape, gradually add 6 Tbsp of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.

Zap the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for about 45 seconds (maybe less.  My microwave is distinctly underpowered).  It should be melted and clear.  Pour it into the cream in a steady stream while continuing to beat.  Very quickly your cream will stiffen markedly.  It IS possible to overbeat this, so be careful.  The gelatin will help the whipped cream from getting watery for longer - it won't keep it from turning to butter if you over do.
Pipe onto muffins.

To quote my husband, these muffins "taste like summer."
Thanks again, Abby, for another great recipe!


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