Saturday, July 12, 2014

Gluten Free Nectarine Polenta Muffins with Blackberry Butter

I went a little crazy at the Farmer's market last week. 
But who can resist perfectly lined baskets of berries and plump, ripe heirloom tomatoes in every shade and hue? One would think that they were shopping for shoes instead of produce.

As we looked around, into my basket went perfectly sweet white corn, vibrant zucchini, yellow peaches that rivaled the perfume of my grandfather's tree, Bing cherries, a jewel-toned red onion, lettuce, peas, a basket of strawberries that ended up being an impulse buy right at the end, as well as a tempting little brioche (for me, not my gluten free love), and we drove off happy with ourselves ready to eat all of it in it's ripe, raw glory.

Cut to: Thursday when all of a sudden I'm looking at steadily ripening peaches, and a whole bag of cherries that seemed like a good idea at the time, I thought, "Uh, I think I went a little crazy at the Farmer's market." And I got to work making some of my favorite Farmer's market seasonal recipes to finish out the week. But that's another post!

Finally, I finished my veggies, now onto the last of it...those two nectarines that have been neglected all week because they were just under-ripe when I bought them. They now are super-sweet because of the warm weather and have been made into muffins. The polenta adds an amazing texture, and the blackberry butter from jam I made from the last crazed F.M. shopping spree, just makes everything better. 

Nectarine Polenta Muffins (makes 12)
1 ¾ cups Cup4Cup
¾ cup polenta
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of ½ an orange
1 cup milk
2 eggs
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon almond extract
1- 1 ½ cups nectarines, diced
¼ cup sliced almonds and 1 tablespoon of sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°

1.     Combine the Cup4Cup, polenta, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zest in a large bowl and mix well.
2.     In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs, buttermilk, butter and extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
3.     Gently fold in the nectarines and portion into a muffin pan.
4.     Top with the sliced almonds and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
5.     Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6.     Once slightly cooled, remove the muffins from the pan and let them sit on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm or with blackberry butter.

Blackberry Butter
4 tablespoons of butter mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon of blackberry jam and a pinch of salt.

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