blissful eats with tina jeffers: Apricot Almond Muffins
When we made almond milk a few weeks back I promised you a recipe that would utilize the leftover pulp so here it is, apricot almond muffins. Don’t worry though if you didn’t make your own almond milk you can just grind fresh almonds in a blender to use in the recipe.
Apricots are a underappreciated fruit since they have a relatively short season usually May thru July. When they are at their peak they give off a lightly perfumed scent reminiscent of honey and almonds. This recipe exploits those lovely characteristics with apricots lightly cooked in honey and vanilla and then spooned on top of an almond and cinnamon batter. They are best eaten the day they are made but are perfect to pop in the freezer and then reheat.
The muffins are inspired by Good To The Grain by Kim Boyce a book I highly recommend if you haven’t already invested in a copy yourself. It is full of recipes that features baked goods made with whole grain flours and it’s chocked full of useful tips that will improve your baking and leave everyone thinking that you are an expert. One tip I’ve learned from Kim is to bake your muffins in two muffin tins or a large 24-cup tin. By alternating the cups that you fill and leaving every other one empty you encourage even baking and it insures a nice dome on top of your muffins. The next time you are looking for an easy breakfast bake up a batch of these on the weekend, pop them in the freezer and you can reheat them in the morning when you don’t have the time.
Apricot Almond Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
For the apricot topping:
3-4 apricots, ripe but firm
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
For the muffins:
1 cup almond meal or 1 cup almonds finely ground in a blender or food processor
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup almond milk or whole milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons demera sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 12 liners or rub the tins with softened butter.
For the topping, cut the apricots in half, remove the pit and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Add the butter, honey and vanilla bean seeds to a medium size skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble. Add the apricots, and stir the fruit until they are coated with the syrup then set aside while you assemble the batter.
Sift the dry ingredients (almond meal through the salt) into a large bowl. In another bowl combine the butter, milk, yogurt and egg and whisk until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined.
Using a ¼ cup measuring cup scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups alternating the cups you fill. Toss the pan of apricots to coat them with the syrup. Place two to three slices of apricot on the top of each muffin and then sprinkle the tops with the demera sugar.
Bake the muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. The muffins are ready when they smell nutty, and the edges of the apricots are caramelized. Take the tins out of the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side to cool. This ensures that the muffin stays crusty instead of getting soggy.