Peaches and Sour Cream Corn Muffins

What makes you feel rich? Ok, well, money would work for us all; I know. But for each of us there’s a little something or a big something (maybe more than one) that creates enough comfort in our heart to make us sigh and feel as though we need nothing more at all. Could be that once in a blue moon moment when all the wash is done and folded or perhaps after the fall garden cleanup is completed and the tulip bulbs are planted. A night after a long work project ends successfully. Close friends coming to stay for a few days. The day your afghan (or toychest) is finished, washed, and mailed. A night alone with your favorite movie of all time. (Mine is: “It Happened One Night.” That or “Michael.”) A lunchtime when the whole family is together. Might also be a full freezer. Walking a 5K; you’ll note that doesn’t say run. A case of canned tomatoes stored away for winter spaghetti sauce. For me, it’s also when there’s a slow cooker full of lusciousness bubbling all day long, promising an all-you-can-eat dinner and giving me a free day. (Hello, sleazy novel!) I feel even richer if I’ve time to bake a little something to go alongside that happy pot of goodness. A bread, simple or not, made especially to go with one particular meal. That’s really rich. This week’s jalapeño-studded peach cornmeal muffins are just such a bread. Even more so as they’re not your typical muffin. With their sweet-savory profile, they’re kind of on the special side despite their easy preparation and basically simple nature. If you’re on your toes, they’re made and baked and on the table in under 45 minutes, including preheating the oven — a must for big, round-domed muffins.

When our children were young and money was pretty tight, our meals stretched lots. We all remember such days when a little leftover meat became the basis for the next day’s pot pie or when pancakes didn’t always have a side of bacon or real maple syrup but applesauce instead. Those were the times I learned to bake a fresh loaf of bread or a pan of muffins or rolls to fill out that table and fill up those tummies. There were rarely leftovers. Now when I get out the flour and the mixing bowl of an evening, it’s because it’s a treat and makes us feel special–especially when dinner’s in the slow cooker and I’ve little else to do, having tired of the sleazy novel and given up on the laundry. There are always leftovers these days. And that’s ok. Tomorrow’s another day.

Have your peaches and jalapeños chopped before you begin so your batter doesn’t rest long before getting in the oven.
Did you wonder what these looked like on the inside?

Want to make peaches and sour cream muffins in the middle of the winter? Chop the peaches for one batch, drizzle with and mix in a little lemon juice, and store them in a freezer baggie for when you need them. Of course, right now –with beautiful peaches in the store– is also a good time to try this:

Peaches and Sour Cream Corn Muffin

Onions, corn, or Cheddar cheese are frequent additions to corn muffins, but I like to occasionally think in terms of fruit to change things up. Apple or cranberry cornbread or muffins come to mind – and those make great cornbread stuffing, too, come Thanksgiving. Late summer or early fall peaches are another lovely foil for cornmeal and, here I add a little snazzy jalapeño and Mozzarella cheese just for fun. You could leave out either one but I wouldn’t. Good for brunch and maybe better for ham and beans or just with a cup of coffee in the afternoon for a pick-me-up. The jalapeño barely flavors the muffins; include more if you’d like a hotter kick. You can also skip the cheese and add the jalapeño to the top of the muffin batter to increase the pepper profile.
makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • Shortening or softened butter for greasing muffin tin
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/56 grams) salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (6 oz/150 grams) sour cream
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/57 grams) milk
  • ½ cup ( 4 oz/107 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (120 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (117 grams) yellow cornmeal (I like Quaker brand)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 large peach, peeled, pitted, and cut into small dice (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño or more to taste-about ½ a typical pepper
  • 1 cup grated whole milk mozzarella cheese-regular—not fresh. Can sub part-skim mozzarella.

Instructions

  • PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set rack at center. Grease the cups of a muffin tin well, including around the top edges, or line with cupcake papers if you prefer. (I think muffins are better without papers as they bake with a crispier crust.)
  • MIX TOGETHER THE WET INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the cooled butter, eggs, sour cream, milk, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  • MIX TOGETHER THE DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • STIR TOGETHER THE WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS; ADD PEACHES + JALAPEÑO: Pour the wet ingredients (sour cream mixture) into the dry ingredients (flour mixture), along with the peaches and jalapeño. Stir until just combined.
  • USING A SPRAYED LARGE SCOOP, divide the batter evenly into the greased muffin cups. Top each with some mozzarella cheese – about a tablespoon each.
  • BAKE FOR 14-16 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN and a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean or nearly clean. Set tin on cooling rack for 5 minutes. Bang pan firmly on the counter and flip to turn muffins out. Alternately, use a small off-set spatula or a small, thin knife to lift muffins out of the cups. Serve warm with butter. Cool, place in a large freezer bag and store a day or two at room temperature. To reheat: Slice in half, butter, and warm well in grill pan or skillet. Freeze for up to two months.

Notes

Ingredient weights from the King Arthur baking website
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2023. All rights reserved.

Note: original recipe posted missing 1/2 cup brown sugar. Corrected 10/10.

No sour cream at your house? Sub a cup of buttermilk (or milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice) for the sour cream AND milk.

If you haven’t done it lately, early fall–before holiday baking starts– is a good time to take your oven’s temperature. Make sure you know how long it takes your oven to preheat as it may be longer than you think. A well-preheated oven is crucial for small baked goods in particular. My oven takes nearly 30 minutes to preheat. It’s a gas oven but some electric ovens, too, take quite a while.

To reheat: Slice in half, butter, and place in small grill pan or skillet over medium flame until very warm, turning once.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Peach Scones

Peach Dream Cheesecake (GF)

Kids Cook for Labor Day: Blueberry-Peach Crisp

Ginger-Peach Melba Cobbler

She’s a Peach…Peach Pie


LIFE GOES ON:

Talk about really being rich….

Above: Having lunch with one of your kids fills that bill. Here we are in Castle Rock, Colorado sharing lunch with our youngest, Emily, last Monday. Guessing we’ll go back to this new Texas Mexican favorite, La Loma. Was there a margarita involved? Yes–my first of the summer.

Thanks for keeping me company in my kitchen.

Bake some muffins, why don’t you?

Alyce

2 thoughts on “Peaches and Sour Cream Corn Muffins

  1. I was a little excited to see no sugar in the ingredients list…but alas, the instructions seem to indicate that brown sugar was left off the list. 🙂

  2. Thanks for catching that omission. Yikes!! My recipes are written in Word and copied + pasted into the blog tool. Occasionally, I somehow miss something. Didn’t even catch it in the edit! Need better glasses. All fixed. I think you could cut the sugar down — perhaps to 1/4 cup — since the peaches are sweet. Also, some cornbreads (especially in the south) are made without sugar. Why not try it?

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