I’m delaying the recipe I had planned to present today because this one calls for fresh peaches, which are still available locally. Everything stops for fresh peaches! When they’re in season, you’ll want to use them in as many ways as possible. My very favourite way to enjoy a peach? Fresh, out of hand, with its sweet juices dripping down my fingers and chin. Each year, that first taste of a perfectly ripe, sweet and fragrant peach is an experience that moves me like no other. But even I can eat only so many fresh peaches, and that’s when recipes like these Peach Bran Muffins provide other ways to enjoy this treasured summer fruit.
A Muffin Primer
You many have noticed that most, if not all, of my muffin recipes have certain similarities: they contain bran, they usually have some kind of fruit in them and they’re not too sweet. That’s because muffins aren’t cupcakes. Cupcakes are an indulgent treat, whereas muffins, while delicious — and it’s important that they be delicious! — fall into the category of a wholesome breakfast or snack.
So, yeah, fibre … what can I say but make those muffins work for you! Fruit adds flavour, texture and natural sweetness. This brings me to the final point, restrained sweetness: not too much sugar and making that more natural and less refined. In other words, a good muffin is what I like to call sweetly unrefined. But that’s enough about muffins in general; let’s get back to the point of this post: these Peach Bran Muffins.
Trust me, you’ll want to eat these. Luckily for you I’m going to share how to make them.
Peach Bran Muffins
These peachy muffins came about as a result of a happy accident. When I was packing for the cottage recently I decided to make up a little muffin kit: all the dry ingredients for a batch of my Oat Bran Banana Muffins pre-measured and packaged up, needing nothing more than some milk, oil and an egg when I was ready to whip them up. Except, I discovered I was out of oat bran. So, instead of a cup of that, I substituted a half cup each of wheat bran and all-purpose flour. I adjusted the amount of sugar, too, to compensate for the difference in flavour between the original oat bran and the wheat bran that was pinch hitting.
When it came time to make these muffins, I thought that since I’d already made some changes to the recipe, why not take it further and come up with something completely different from the banana version? Not only that, but a big basket of fresh peaches from the Juicy-Fruit Market was calling my name. So, I peeled and pitted two big ones — the softest, juiciest ones I could find — and roughly chopped them. Some pieces were small and some were bigger chunks of about a half inch. The smaller pieces would melt into the muffins as they were baking, adding sweet moisture, but the big pieces would stay intact, providing bursts of fresh peach flavour.
A bit of cinnamon added background warm sweetness; enough to enhance the flavour but not steal the show from the undisputed stars of these muffins, the peaches.
The result was a muffin that I’ll definitely make again when peaches are in season. Something tells me you’ll enjoy them just as much.
Peach Bran Muffins
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life, 2017
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- 3/4 cup milk (dairy or unflavoured nut milk of your choice)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup granulated golden cane sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- two large peaches, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped (about 1-1/3–1-1/2 cups)
Add the wet ingredients (yup, that includes the sugar) to a large bowl. If you want to do fewer dishes, measure them using an extra-large measuring cup (mine hold 8 cups) and use that as your mixing bowl, too. Using a fork or whisk, stir briskly until all the ingredients are melded. Don’t whisk though, as you don’t want to incorporate air.
Using a separate, smaller bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and sir with a large spoon or spatula until just combined. A small lump here or there won’t hurt. Now stir in the peach pieces until evenly distributed.Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. (Test after 20 minutes; you’re looking for the tops to be nicely browned and a tester to come out clean).
As always, it’s important to know your oven! I discovered the hard way that the cottage oven runs hotter than mine at home … I very nearly burned this batch. It’s a good thing I checked after only 15 minutes.
Set the tray of muffins on a rack for about 5 minutes, then turn out the muffins on the rack to finish cooling.
These muffins are heavenly eaten warm, but they also make a great snack at room temperature.