This recipe does not require the special pan, you can place the peach piece on top of the batter before baking. I have only tested this recipe with the spike method, so I am not sure how much the fruit will or will not sink when baking if you place it it on top of the batter .
Peaches have not been the best this year and I have patiently waiting for some good ones. Most of them are the size of plums. However, I recently found a good selection at a roadside stand. Now I wish I had bought more.
This muffin recipe yields a moist cake that envelopes a juicy peach chunk that was cooked in peach schnapps (or peach nectar for the non alcoholic). Each is covered with a crumb topping and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The recipe yields one dozen standard size muffins.
Peach Heart Muffins
12 chunks of peeled peaches
1/4 cup of peach schnapps (or nectar)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup or 8 tbs of butter (room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 plus 2 tbs flour
2 tbs peach schnapps (or nectar)
1 cup flour
4 tbs melted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
To make the muffins, grease the top edges of the 12 indentations in the pan. Then line with cupcake liners or slide over the spikes (special pan) making a small hole in the liner.
Take a small saucepan and fill with peach schnapps (or nectar) and peach pieces. Place over medium high heat and stir a little. Then let mixture come to a boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 6 minutes or until all pieces are cooked through. Remove and let cool.
While this is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add each whole egg, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Do the same with the yolks and then beat in the vanilla extract and the vegetable oil.
After cooling the cooked peaches, separate them from the sauce. Then stir the sauce into the batter.
Mix the dry ingredients into the batter in 1/3 increments until no more dry streaks remain. If using a regular pan, pour the batter into the cupcake liners and smooth the top. Then place 1 peach chunk on top. If using a spike pan, slide one peach piece onto the the top of the spike. Piece should be pierced all the way through, but the spike should not show sticking out the top. Spoon batter over the piece, filling each cavity.
Then make the crumb topping. Whisk together all the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Pour in the schnapps (or nectar) and the melted butter. Stir with a fork until it becomes coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffins.
Place pan in oven and bake for 18-23 minutes or until top is a golden color. A tester can also be used, but be sure that it is stuck into the cake part to test and not the peach piece.
Remove pan and let muffins cool for 1 minute and transfer to wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
Tip: the easiest way to peel a peach is by putting it in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then remove and let cool a little and wipe with a paper towel. The towel will pull the skin right off. This beats peeling with a knife and there is less of the peach wasted.