Right before my sister took off for her internship in Zambia, she looked at me sternly and said, "You better pick the peaches." And so, not wanting to disappoint my sweet, little sister, I did just that, waiting until the afternoon sun had settled just so.
My mom has a modest, but treasure-filled peach tree growing along the driveway and it's been begging to be picked for the past few days.
These aren't your enormous Georgia peaches, but they are every bit as scrumptious and just as fuzzy.
Giving each a gentle squeeze before plucking one into my basket, I couldn't help but sample a few here and there, you know, just to make sure they really were as perfect as my sister had insisted.
Before I knew it, my basket was full and glowing in the afternoon sun.
As I admired their colors, trying to decide how I could bottle it, I thought of someone else who might enjoy a taste.
Thula is one of my family's goats and she is always eager for a treat (Dolly is a bit camera shy). I brought her a couple of peaches and as soon as I held my hand up to show her what I had, she came prancing over her bridge and right up for a sniff.
I had planned on taking the pit out before I fed the peaches to her, but she would have none of that and took the peach, one by one, straight out of my hand, chewed on it whole, and when she had eaten every last morsel of pulp, she ever so nonchalantly, spit out the pit before starting the process all over again. (I included a picture of one of the pits she spit up, because it's pretty neat!)
After a good laugh in the goat pasture, I was eager to do something with at least some of the peaches. I figured muffins were a good place to start.
Peach Perfect (Blueberry) Muffins
- 3 cups peaches, pitted, roughly cut, with skins ON
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 1/2 cups flour (I used spelt, but regular white or wheat would also be fine)
- 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups yoghurt or milk
- 2 eggs
- Dollop of honey
Begin by cutting up about three cups of peaches into bite-size pieces.
Feeing extra sweet, I mixed in a tablespoon of sugar.
Since we had some wild Maine blueberries on hand, I took two cups and stirred in another tablespoon of sugar.
Moving on to the dry ingredients. Mix the flour with the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Melt the butter and pour into a medium-sized bowl.
Now this next part is up to you. You can use milk or yoghurt. I stuck with my favorite Cabot Greek yoghurt and added it to the butter.
Followed by two eggs. Make sure you add the eggs after the cold yoghurt, as you don't want your eggs to cook in the warm, melted butter.
And lastly a dollop of local honey.
Give it a good whisking until it turns a beautiful pale yellow.
Before you add that creamy mixture to your flour, add the fruit to the dry mixture and coat it. This will keep the peaches and blueberries from just sadly sinking to the bottom of the muffin tin.
Fold in your wet ingredients, carefully, and gently, and only until it is incorporated.
The next task is to grease your muffin tin. Sure you can use muffin cups, sure you can PAM those tins up, OR you can use old butter wrappers. My mom taught me to save butter wrappers by folding them up nicely, storing them in the fridge, and when you need to grease a muffin tin for example, you just pop one of those babies out of the fridge and go to town. I always grease the top, flat part as well so that the muffin "hats" easily come out of the tin as well.
I think that generally the rule of thumb is to fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way, but I just went for it and practically filled them to the brim. It ended up making 18 muffins.
I did place a cookie sheet under each one, just in case any of them decided to jump ship (they didn't FYI). After a 20-25 minute bake in the oven at 400 degrees, I let them cool for a few minutes in their tins before carefully lifting each one out and placing them on racks to cool completely.
See the great distribution of fruit? I told you that tossing them in the dry ingredients first would pay off ;)
I spent the next morning chopping up the remaining peaches, tossing the pits aside just as Thula did (sans chewing) and preparing them for the freezer. They freeze beautifully, just make sure to get the air out (a straw works wonders). After which, anytime you're craving a cobbler, muffin, compote, or just plane frozen peaches, you'll have a treasure trove waiting for you.
Russia Update: Tyler and I finally received our visas and will be leaving for Russia on September 5th. An adventure awaits!