Years ago, I spent a semester of college in Orlando, Florida, working for The Mouse. While living in Orlando, I discovered the joy that is a Perkins Restaurant muffin for breakfast when you have a very long day of creating Magical Memories ahead of you.
My absolute favorite Perkins Muffin is a Peaches and Cream muffin. Sadly, Perkins no longer makes this particular flavor, which I discovered when we moved out into the New Jersey countryside, and we found a Perkins nearby. Such a mix of emotions that day!
But you know me – I’m not going to be deterred when I want a favorite. A search of the Interwebs found this recipe.
Next came a trip to my local Farmers’ Market. If you have a farmers’ market nearby, please frequent it! The experience of walking through the market stalls, absorbing the bright colors and smells of fresh produce (and in the case of mine, fresh baked bread and pretzels) can get you very excited about food, even when you think you can’t cook. And supporting local farmers is very important.
As I strolled through our local market with my husband and brother in law, Chris, we spotted these great looking fresh peaches, and also some gorgeous blueberries. Chris intended to put those blueberries on his cereal, but I got to them first.
I have to say that this recipe is a great ‘base’ for any sort of fruit and cream muffin. I followed the original recipe to make the Peaches and Cream muffins, and then I moved on to making a Blueberry and Buttermilk muffin with the same basic ingredients and measurements. Maybe I’ll try strawberry and sour cream next.. or raspberry.. I’m even wondering how it would do with Banana.
Moving on to the method of this madness – did you know there’s a super easy way to peel peaches? It involves blanching them in boiling water first.
After the water comes to a boil, drop the peaches in, and let them boil for 30-50 seconds (depending on the ripeness of the peaches). Then, immediately dunk them in ice water. While my stock pot full of water came to a boil, I filled a mixing bowl with ice and water and had it at the ready next to the stove. After a few minutes in the ice water, the skin will just peel right off, without much effort at all. You can use your fingers to start a strip, or a vegetable peeler, but you will most likely be finishing the job with your hands. It seems to be the easiest way to do it and also not lose a significant amount of peach flesh. Preheat your oven to 400F when this step is done.
It’s really really cool to see a naked Peach. The varying colors on the skin carry through to the flesh.. but you don’t see that if you peel them entirely with a vegetable peeler.
So start by blanching all the peaches you want to use. For this recipe, you need one cup of diced peaches, and I think that’s about 4 whole peaches. At least, that’s how many I used. But then again, I have a relationship with peaches like I do pumpkin. They’re pretty much my two favorite flavors in the entire world.
When they’re diced, if you’re worried about any browning, hit them with a little lemon juice.
Next, combine your wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In this case, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 1/4 cup oil.
When well mixed, put aside, and bring together your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Once they’re combined in a bowl, I mix them through with a fork, and then sift them on to a flexible cutting board. You would not believe the difference sifting makes in a quick bread like muffins. Please don’t skip this step!
Now add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, stiring only just enough to make them combined. There will be lumps – that’s okay. Overmixing of quick bread batter leads to horribly tough muffins, so just don’t do it. Don’t even use a mixer of any kind, use a spoon. Please! It took me years to learn that a light hand is best with muffins.
In fact, these are the first muffins I’ve ever made that didn’t turn out like little bricks from overmixing.
When the ingredients are combined, add the peaches, and stir through one more time lightly until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Next, spray your 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray. Even if you’re using paper cups, spray with cooking spray. I kid you not, it makes for a much easier time of the muffins coming out of the paper, with no muffin-crumb lossage! My husband tells me this is important, so I tell you.
Scoop the batter into the cups using an ice cream scoop, like the pros do. (It creates uniform muffins without sticking to a strict measuring system.)
Before we go any further, can I talk about this ice cream scoop for a second?
It’s my grandmother’s. I have loved it forever. It’s all metal, it’s never tarnished or rusted, and it makes perfect ice cream scoops. It’s at least 50 years old, and to me, it conjures up memories of summer night freezer raids with Gaga (my grandfather), where he’d make us each a two scoop, strawberry/chocolate cake cup cone and whisper, “Don’t tell your Nanny!” before leading me out to the back deck to listen to the crickets sing while we ate them.
When I was last home, I told her I wanted to have it some day. Given that she has 2 or 3 of every kitchen utensil ever created, she said to me, “Just take it now!”. After I stopped doing a celebratory jig, I hugged and kissed her, and ran with it up to my room and put it straight in my suitcase, lest I forget it. It means that much to me. There are just some things – things you used every day as a kid, that mean more than words can say. That’s my ice cream scoop story.
And FYI – it makes for an excellent muffin scoop measurer.
Pretty uniform if you asked me.
Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes. Cool, and then devour.
To make Blueberry & Buttermilk muffins, simply substitute blueberries for the chopped peaches, and buttermilk for the sour cream. They turn out perfectly.
Peaches & Cream or Blueberry & Buttermilk Muffins
1/2 cup Sour Cream OR Buttermilk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped fresh peaches or washed and patted dry blueberries
Beat egg, then add sour cream or buttermilk and oil. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then sift. Add to the egg mixture until just moistened. Stir in the peaches or blueberries.
Spray muffin tin with or without paper cups with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into each cup until they are roughly 3/4 full. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.
You’ll notice from the top picture that there was a crumb topping on the muffins. The recipe on Taste of Home did not include a crumb topping recipe, so I made my own, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what the ratios of butter, sugar, and flour are now. I’m sorry. You can just play around with a few table spoons of each and you won’t be far off.
This recipe was found on Taste of Home’s website.