Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Fruit Muffins with Pistachio Crunch

My dearly loved in-laws are coming home today from a very long, very far away summer vacation.  Lucky them right?!  But I'm sure the journey home was both long and disheartening.  They deserve a great snack to nibble on when they arrive home.  These muffins are a divine way to use the season's best fruit.

Summer Fruit Muffins with Pistachio Crunch
From: Two Dishes: Mother and Daughter: Two Cooks,Two Lifestyles, Two Takes

Notes: These muffins freeze really well if you happen to have the will power to put some away for later.  Spend at least the recommended time creaming the butter and sugar - you will see a difference in the appearance and texture of the mixture.  I find this makes a big difference in the final product.  Also, use paper liners as instructed, I didn't have any this time around, and they definitely hold their shape better with them.


1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 cubes

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup diced strawberries, 1/4 inch dice
1 cup diced nectarines, 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios

For the topping combine the flour, sugar, pistachios and butter in a small bowl.  Pinch the ingredients between your fingers until large, moist clumps form.  Refrigerate the topping while you make the muffin batter.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 large (1/2 cup) muffin cups with paper liners.

For the muffins, combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  I like to use a hand-held mixer on low for about 10 seconds (turning it any higher will cause a flour explosion).

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with the mixer on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on high for 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and beat on low until just combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.  Add the milk and beat on low until just combined.  With a spatula, fold in the strawberries, nectarines and pistachios.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan.  Top the muffins with the reserved topping mixture, pressing it gently into the batter.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are slightly golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 large muffins.

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