The hill country peaches have been so good this year.  I bought another basketfull at the farmers market, and though they were small, they were super ripe and tasty.  They had to be eaten pronto.  Seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a couple batches of the Ginger Peach muffins in Good to the Grain.  After reading the recipe a few times, I realized there was only a couple slices of peach on top of each muffin, and none on the inside.  Based on the amount of fresh ginger and crystalized ginger, I knew I needed more peach in mine.  So after some experimenting, I have figured out the best way to make this adjustment.

I like ginger, but I like it more harmonized than front and center in my baked goods.  Especially fresh grated in something like a muffin that is not too sweet.  Additionally, I thought a little bit of fresh grated nutmeg would be a good addition, and after tasting one batch with and one without, it is a keeper.   I found it useful to use muffin papers for these, as the first batch stuck to the muffin pan pretty badly.  They are very yummy.  Not too sweet, with the flavor of oatmeal and fruit harmonious alongside the nice ginger.

I thought it was odd that although the directions talk about when to add the gresh minced ginger twice, it never mentions the candied ginger (so I assume we are just to add them with the wet ingredients where they are listed).  The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon fresh minced ginger, as well as an additional 3 tablespoons candied ginger chopped.  I didnt have candied, and kind of didn’t want them to be so gingery, so I upped the fresh ginger a little, and omitted the candied.  I am sure little chewy bits of candied ginger would make for a nice surprise, but these were quite good without them.

Last week I baked the buckwheat pancakes in the book, which were awesome, partly because they were topped with a honey butter syrup.  I really like how she uses honey, molasses, and other natural sugars that add flavor as much as sweetness.  And that is the first step for the muffins– melt some butter, honey, and a little fresh minced ginger in a pan, and toss in the peach slices which will later top the muffins.

Ginger Peach Whole Grain Muffins

adapted from Good To The Grain by Kim Boyce

(Note: If you dont use fresh ginger often, keep it in the freezer.  On top of staying fresh longer, it makes grating it on a microplaner much easier– you dont get as much stringyness.  You can grind whole oats in a food processor to make oat flour, which I like  because you can control the texture.  I used Bob’s Red Mill organic whole rolled oats, which also makes my favorite oatmeal.  The peaches I used were small– the size of plums, so if you only have large ones, you will use about 2-3 total: 1 and 1/2 for the diced peaches, and 1 for the sliced topping).

For the peach slice topping:

1 tablespoon butter (I use unsalted, Falfurrias)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 small peaches, sliced

For the dry ingredients:

1 cup oat flour (or ground whole rolled oats)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

3/4 cup whole milk (I used goat milk)

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

3 oz. of butter (3/4 of a stick), melted and slightly cooled

3 small peaches diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated if you have it)

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees.  Butter the upper surface of the muffin pan, and then fill with muffin liners.  Grate all the ginger into the bowl you will use for mixing wet ingredients, then remove 1 tsp and place it in a saucepan.  Add the tablespoon of butter and honey to the saucepan, and melt on low heat.  When it bubbles, turn off the heat, and toss in your sliced peaches.  You will want the slices thin, and about 2 dozen slices.  Let them rest while you make the batter.

Since I ground my own oats, I didnt sift them, as they were on the chunky side.  Do sift the other flours and the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix them with the oat flour with a whisk.  Mix your wet ingredients in the bowl with the rest of the minced ginger.  Whisk the wet ingredient well, and then pour them into the dry.  Use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine the batter.  Add the nutmeg and fold in the diced peaches.

Using a small measuring cup or ice cream scoop, fill each 1/3 cup muffin cup to the brim.  If your papers are taller than the muffin tin cups, leave some room.  If you like big muffins that expand over the edge of the cup, you can fill them so they mound a little above the top of the cups, and you will get about 9 muffins.  I like mine more conservative, so I got a full dozen out of the batter.

Place a couple slices of peach on top of each muffin.  Bake them for about 25 minutes, until the edges are golden and the peaches look carmelized.  Let them cool about 10 minutes, and then remove them from the pan to finish cooling.  If you let them cool in the pan too long, they can get soggy.

They are best eaten within a couple days.

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