Sunday, August 19, 2007

Peach Melba Muffins

I don't know what possessed me to let 3 beautiful Okanagan
peaches rattle around in a huge cooler with 20 bottles of Okanagan wine. But, they were pretty beat up this morning and I thought the best thing for them would be muffins.

I have just returned from a 7 day trip to the VERY SUNNY Okanagan. I say this with much emphasis, because it was raining at home when I left and raining when I got back. We spent our days of +30 degrees laying on beaches, touring wineries, traversing canyons, ogling fresh fruit and produce, and reveling in the laid back atmosphere of the Okanagan. We had a beautiful lunch on the patio at Lake Breeze Winery in Naramata, and a dinner at Passa Tempo, a restaurant at the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa.

The peaches were bought at one of a million roadside fruit stands that line the road between Osoyoos and Penticton. The Elephant Island Framboise is from a great fruit winery on the Naramata Bench area above Penticton. I also purchased a nice dry cherry wine that I am looking forward to pairing with a meal.

These muffins are Peach Melba muffins, which are reminiscent of the traditional Peach Melba dessert that was one of the many coupes I learned to prepare in culinary school. This classic dessert was created by Auguste Escoffier, to honour Dame Nellie Melba, an opera star of the late 1800's.

Peach Melba Muffins

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Framboise liqueur
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 oz melted unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh peach, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non stick spray.
Toss the raspberries, 1 tbsp sugar, and the Framboise, and let macerate for about 30 minutes.

Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter and milk together. Stir into the flour mixture until just moistened and lumpy. Fold in the peaches.

Spoon batter into 9 muffin cups, not filling them to the top and reserving about 1/4 quarter of the batter for the top. Spoon a few raspberries onto each muffin, and then top with the rest of the batter.

Sprinkle the almonds, that have been tossed with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar, onto the muffins. Bake about 25- 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out dry. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then remove from pan to continue cooling.


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