This is a great recipe for peach season, which typically begins in early August. Ricotta cheese lends these muffins their light and fluffy, but moist texture and the addition of applesauce makes it possible to significantly cut back on the oil and sugar, but not disturb the flavor or texture of the muffins. You can use any leftover peach to garnish the muffins before baking. Topped with thin slices of peach, these muffins appear quite embellished!
Peach Ricotta Muffins
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
scant 2/3 cup or heaping ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peaches, diced (about 1 ½ peaches), can thinly slice and use leftover peach as garnish
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, blend together brown sugar, ricotta cheese, oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture and blend just until incorporated. Batter will be thick. Stir in diced peaches and spoon into a greased muffin tin. Arrange a few sliced peaches on each muffin if desired. Bake for 17-25 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. The muffins with garnish may take a couple more minutes of baking time than the ungarnished muffins. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan. These muffins should be refrigerated within a day or two of baking, then lightly toasted or heated when ready to eat.
Adapted from Belly of the Beest