Breakfast Tuesday: Nectarine Upside-Down Muffins
September 6, 2011
Welcome back, Breakfast Tuesday! Our temporary hiatus has officially come to a close and we’re back on schedule! I’m adjusting quickly and happily to my new surroundings and wonderful roommate, K, and am excited to feel at home in my new kitchen.
Being happy in my new place, I was craving something special and turned to my small reserve of favorite sweets. My favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake, which seems odd because I never make it, but makes sense when you factor in how much I bake and my baking mentality. My favorite baked goods tend to be those that I rarely make because A) I much prefer to bake for my friends and those in my social periphery and B) I can’t bear the thought of becoming tired of my favorites and therefore save them for very, very special occasions. Today, being my first Breakfast Tuesday all moved in and settled, is certainly a special occasion but it’s still Tuesday, and still has to be breakfast.
So here’s my inner dialogue, coming up with today’s recipe choice:
Think Colleen, think. What’s the closest thing to cake that you can eat for breakfast?
No, absolutely not.
-But think of the possibilities! Pineapple upside down (pan)cakes! You have to admit that sounds AWESOME.
That does sound awesome, actually. But goodness gracious we make a lot of pancakes.
-So… muffins? Those are a lot like breakfast cake. But we don’t like muffins.
Fruit upside down muffins, though. Could be good.
-[insert dramatic sigh here] FINE.
I had a bunch of nectarines on hand and found what looked like a good recipe for muffins and upside-down fruitness. It was kind of an interesting choice because I LOVE fruit upside-down cakes but am not the biggest muffin fan. I baked them, not really convinced I’d love them. I tried them, and, lo and behold, loved them. Goes to show that I’ll love just about anything if it’s covered in fruit and brown sugar syrup!
Nectarine Upside-down Muffins
(Recipe only slightly adapted from Eating Well)
Yields 12 muffins
Notes: The original recipe calls for 3 to 4 thinly sliced nectarines, but I thought that seemed like too many nectarine slices to fit inside twelve muffin cups. I ended up using only 2 nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced. After turning them out of the muffin tins, however, I realized that the nectarines baked down a great deal and the muffin would have been improved had I used the appropriate amount of nectarine slices. Instead of using just an egg white in addition to one egg, according to the original, I used two whole eggs. After looking through bunches of muffin recipes and realizing that a lot of recipes yielding twelve muffins called for two eggs, I decided to just go with two whole eggs (plus, I didn’t feel like dealing with an extra egg yolk – lazy, much?). The only other alteration I made to the recipe was the amount of baking powder used, upping it from one and one half teaspoons to two. Honestly, though, I’m not sure it made a huge difference!
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
3-4 nectarines, pitted and sliced thinly
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or two 6-cup muffin tins by spraying with cooking oil or buttering each individual cup and the top of tin.
2. Drop an equal amount of brown sugar into each muffin cup and press into an even layer. Using about an equal amount of nectarine slices per muffin cup, arrange slices over layer of brown sugar.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
4. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, yogurt, oil, and vanilla, until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
5. Scoop muffin batter evenly into muffin cups, on top of layered nectarine slices.
6. Bake muffins in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and puffed, and a knife inserted through center comes out clean. While muffins are baking, place cooling racks over a sheet of wax paper.
7. When muffins are done, remove tin(s) from oven and immediately turn muffins out of tin onto cooling racks. Replace any rogue nectarine slices.
Storage: Muffins are best the day they are made and I imagine these muffins even more so, on account of the fruit and syrup. Once cooled to room temperature, place muffins in an airtight container and refrigerate up to a day.