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Apricot-Almond Muffins

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Yields 1 dozen muffins

  • by Joanne Chang from Fine Cooking
    Issue 77

Fresh apricots give a sweet-and-sour tang to these light, tender muffins.

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  • 1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh apricots (or substitute canned apricots, drained very well and patted dry)
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) the top of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (cups should be 2-3/4 inches across and about 1 inch deep) and line with paper or foil baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche or sour cream, eggs, and egg yolk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened (the batter will be lumpy)--there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.

Sprinkle the apricots, sliced almonds, and almond extract onto the batter, and fold them in until just combined. (The batter will be lumpy; don’t try to smooth it out.) Do not overmix.

Use an ice cream scoop if you have one with a “sweeper” in it; otherwise, use two spoons to spoon the batter into the muffin cups, distributing all of the batter evenly. The batter should mound higher than the rim of the cups by about 3/4 inch. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. (The muffin tops will probably meld together.) Let the tin cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then use a table knife to separate the tops, and then invert the pan and pop out the muffins.

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