Sunday, June 8

It's Apricot Season, So That Means Fresh Apricot Muffins

apricot muffins tin angle

Do you know what happens when you buy a quart size container of fresh apricots? You get about 14 apricots that ripen at the same time (and about two that don't). As much as I love fresh apricots, eating 14 of them within a day or two isn't practical or appealing. Apricot muffins, however, are enormously appealing.

Apricot season runs from May-August, so now is the time to buy them. Unlike hardier peaches or nectarines, apricots are finicky. They like mild temperatures and dislike intense heat, which is why they grow so well in California. When selecting fresh apricots look for somewhat firm (not hard) fruit that is brightly colored (they range from light yellow to a deeper orange-yellow). The skin should be velvety smooth without wrinkles or blemishes, and they should yield slightly when squeezed. If you're still in doubt, then take a good whiff -- a ripe apricot emits a sweet fragrance. After all, it is a member of the rose family.

apricots and cherries

Apricots should be stored on the counter top until ripe then refrigerated if not eaten with a day or two. For the fullest flavor, it's best to allow the fruit to come to room temperature before eating.

A fresh, ripe apricot is sublime--its creamy, perfumed flesh is subtly sweet with hints of tartness. Since I don't have the heart to toss apricots that are slightly bruised or mushy, I decided to bake with them. I had success with some fresh strawberry muffins, so I thought I'd try another fresh fruit muffin recipe.

These low-fat fresh apricot muffins are moist and cake-y with little juicy bits of apricot and crunchy nuts in each bite. Of course, with redolent cinnamon, nutmeg, and fresh ginger, you'll be enticed by them long before you even take a bite.

apricot muffins yellow dish

Fresh Apricot Muffins (low-fat)

Makes 12 regular size muffins.
Print recipe only here.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup light brown sugar
5 tablespoons smart balance butter substitute, melted
1 large egg and 2 egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh diced apricots
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 apricot, thinly sliced for the tops of the muffins

Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12 mold regular size muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl, and stir well.

In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, honey, sugar, smart balance, eggs, ginger, and vanilla, and whisk well. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in apricots and almonds.

Spoon the batter evenly into the into 12 muffin cups. Add an apricot slice to the top of each muffin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

Here are more deliciously sweet recipes featuring fresh apricots:
Anna's Apricot Jam
Clotilde's Apricot Coffee Cake
Elise's Rustic Apricot Tart

You might also like these baked goods:

Banana Coconut Almond Bread

Fresh Strawberry, Almond, and Coconut Muffins

Honeyed Orange Ginger Muffins (Quat, Optional)

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T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Swoon!!! What beautiful photos - and the spices in those muffins sound pretty heavenly. Love the golden tiara on each of those muffins!

vb said...

Wow, amazing! Apricots are going on the shopping list right now.

Mandy said...

Susan, your apricot muffins are calling my name. I love baked goods that incorporate peak of the season fruits. Definitely keeping this recipe. :)

Manggy said...

Gorgeous pics! As you may have guessed, I've only ever seen/eaten a dried apricot O_o Maybe I can sub nectarines for them :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Love the little piece of apricot peeking out the top of each muffin -- so inviting! It's definitely not apricot season here in Rhode Island, but worth hunting down some apricots at the market to try these muffins.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I think I'll always consider apricots a queen among fruits. It's delicate but robust at the same time. I love them. I guess the only way to have constantly differing ripe apricots is if you have a tree in your yard. That would be lovely. Until then, muffins will do it. Each little apricot on your muffins looks like a happy smile!

Kalyn Denny said...

The muffins look just delicious! I loved meeting you today too. The food was great, but the company was even better.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Your apricot muffins sound and look wonderful! I've been enjoying a lot of California apricots lately. I grab them while I can! I know what you mean about them all ripening at the same time, though.

Gattina Cheung said...

Susan, can I come over now? would love to help out that 10-ish apricot... and even muffins! Your muffins are low-fat, great! I don't need to hold back :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love apricots! Those muffins look wonderful and delicious!



J said...

Can we safely substitute apricots with other fruit or carrots in this recipe? I like the use of whole wheat flour here - much healthier!

Nabeela said...

My aunt just gave me over 10 pounds of almost ripe apricots from her tree...and said she has more for me this I'm trying to come up with recipes to use them up too.....*sigh* Sometimes, too much of a good thing can also be bad
P.S: Love your muffin idea...might try that and give them off to friends!

Chibog in Chief said...

apricots too are in season here in southern france..i picked about two kilos in the market..unfortunately i ran out of cooking ideas i just dump them in the casserole and made some jam..

i shoul have seen this muffin recipe of yours, looks really mouth-watering!!

Anonymous said...

*sigh* Every time I read a new post of yours I fall into a geographical depression. Your apricots are so beautiful! And those muffins! I love the way each on coyly shows a little fruit... :-)

Asha said...

Wish I had some of those right now, breakfast time here, very HOT and HUMID too!:))

LyB said...

Well isn't that nice, I've got a bunch of apricots on the counter right now! These muffins look delicious, I can't wait to try them! :)

Anonymous said...

They look so pretty. I'll put on the coffee ;)

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I can just imagine the aroma of these baking in the house...and quite healthy too. Just beautiful Susan.

Cynthia said...

Dear Susan, you would not believe how many times I've said to myself: "I've got to visit Food Blogga, I've got to visit Food Blogga!" but then I open up an email or something and things go crazy from there!

Thank you so much for stopping by. I can't wait to explore your blog. I'm currently away but as soon as I'm back, you bet! :)

Stella said...

Oh my, lucky you to have fresh apricots in your country! I have to be content with the dried ones. Please send me a muffin!

Anonymous said...

It's too early for apricots here, I'll print this recipe out for when I can get some.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, I bet these were gone in no time. They look superb! I have never baked with fresh apricots, I'd love to try .

grace said...

i'm sorry to report that i have never, ever eaten a fresh apricot. i've only had dried, and since i don't care for those very much, i'm automatically and unfairly biased against fresh. these muffins look quite appealing, however, so maybe it's time to give the little orbs another shot. i love your photography!

Le Flâneur Novice said...

I guess I couldnt add my comment at first :)

Today I bought fresh apricots, and was thinking about to search for a muffin recipe... You read my heart dear :)

By the way, can yogurt be used instead of buttermilk with this recipe? Or what can be used instead?

Anonymous said...

I love apricots! Glad their season is here already! What a great idea to use fresh apricots in muffins. Sounds and looks fabulous! Yum yum!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What darling muffins! They would look so cheerful on my breakfast table. Having grown up with a prodigious apricot tree, I can't bring myself to pay for apricots. It seems weird to pay for something we'd beg people to take off our hands.

Anonymous said...

The apricots you can buy in the Netherlands are never as good as the ones I ate in Croatia when I was a little girl. I know I love them but somehow I'm always disappointed when I eat them here...
Those muffins sound good (for you)!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Now that I've finally had good apricots, I love apricots, but you nailed it--they all ripen at the same time and go from ripe to rotten in about 5 minutes. Definitely a tricky lot of fruit to manage, but worth it. I love the muffins though--I'll have to try that while the apricots are here!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love a healthy muffin to have with my coffee, I'll have to try this! I've been using whole wheat pastry flour for muffins and things.

Annie said...

Love apricot preserves but haven't eaten many fresh apricots. I don't really know why.
Probably because I'm not sure if they will be ripe and sweet (thanks for the tips).
The muffins sound delicious- love that they are low-fat!!!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

i have been baking with stone fruits like crazy too. lovely photos susan.

Brittany said...

Cali has a nice crop this year! Love the muffins!

I have recently discovered the subtle beauty that is Apricots paired with chamomile. Had to share.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Very tempting muffins, Susan. Just bought some apricots yesterday!

Anonymous said...

I love apricot and that photo of apricots and cherries at the market looks gorgeous!

Sia said...

susan, i am eating fresh apricots while writing this comment:) this weekend i'll get fresh apricots from farmer's market and cook something delicious like ur cupcakes:) very tempting pictures.

Rosie said...

Gorgeous - Gorgeous - Gorgeous muffins and photos Susan!!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

You can't eat 14 apricots at once? Shocking! We love fresh fruit of any kind over here, but it's even better with the promise of something sweet baked out of them. Thank you for the yummy recipe once again.

xoxox Amy

RecipeGirl said...

You know what I've been missing? A good fresh apricot muffin recipe!! You've saved the day. This is definitely printed out and will be enjoyed this summer.

And those fresh cherries look amazing too! Did you get any of those?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

tw-Ooh, a "golden tiara" sounds lovely.

vb-I hope muffins are on the cooking list then. ;)

mandy-I do too, and I've been going a little crazy with it this season!

manggy-Nectarines would definitely work' just make sure they're really ripe. :)

lydia-I love the slice on top too!

tanna-There is something regal about them. And they make you smile when you eat them too!

kalyn-I loved meeting you too! :)

susan-Hence the muffins. ;)

gattina-Come on over!

rosa-Then you'll love these muffins.

jyothsna-I think so, yes. You could try peaches, pineapple, or nectarines.

nabeela-They'll love you for it! And an aunt with an apricot tree! Swoon.

dhanggit-I love apricot jam though.

ann-"geographical depression." That's a new one. I might have to use that. Feel free to visit anytime, and I'll take you there myself! :)

asha-Yeah, the whole East Coast is suffering from heat.

lyb-I hope you do!

maryann-Aw, that's what my mom says to me all the time. :)

peter-Oh, thank you so much.

cynthia-How kind of you; thank you. Enjoy your trip, and I'll look forward to our visits. :)

stella-What's your address? ;)

ctkg-It's worth the wait. I promise. :)

patricia-They were a big hit, so I hope you try them.

grace-What?! Stop what you're doing right now, and go buy some fresh apricots. (You'll thank me for it.) :)

bal-Yes, I make muffins with yogurt all the time. So I think that would be fine.

farida-I was really happy with how they turned out.

cblynn-I know what you mean. An apricot has to be just right, but when it is, it's perfection.

mike-I hope you do.

marie-I like using it for half the flour but not the whole amount.

annie-I hope you eat more fresh apricots now!

aran-Me too! Thanks.

brittany-That does sound lovely, thanks.

aparna-Hope you bake some then.

orchidea-Thanks so much!

sia-Thank you!

rosie-Aw, thanks so much!

amy-Nope. I stop at 9. ;)

Meghan said...

These are lovely. I like the apricot on top of each muffin. Thanks for a great low fat recipe!

Anonymous said...

These look great. Will definitely give them a test drive before the season is out!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

I love apricot muffins, especially with almonds. It' a month or so before we have them here, but I'm also hoping to make jam with them this year as well.

Nic said...

Have I mentioned lately that I need to upgrade to smell-o-vision?

David Hall said...

You lucky things! Great when apricots come around, as long as you avoid the cotton wool-like ones anyway. Lovely muffin recipe. Thanks for that.


Alice Q. Foodie said...

Wow, perfect timing - I have a carton of ripe ones on the counter right now! I really enjoyed meeting you at lunch the other day, and I'm looking forward to fully exploring your blog!

Anonymous said...

Look at that pretty apricots!!, bet you house smells very nice now, fresh Apricot muffins, what can beat that :)

Lisa Turner said...

Just beautiful! I bought some apricots just a wee while ago and made them into fritters. Now, I will have to pick up some more to make these.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful and summer it looks...the muffins and the fresh fruits!

Mansi said...

I so know what you mean! I have a bagful of cherries, apricots, peaches and strawberries that we got from our fruit-picking adventure, and now I need to use it all up before it rots!!

gotta try these muffins Susan, they look pretty!:)

Y said...

I'm seriously suffering from fruit envy, looking at all the delicious pictures of summer fruit that are on your blog at the moment. Those farmers market photos are especially tantalising! We're experiencing a particular grey winter week here in Sydney, so it's refreshing to see so much colour from the other part of the world :)

Dwiana P said...

All the sudden I am craving for apricots after seeing your beautiful shot of apricots.
Great recipe you have here too:)

Unknown said...

Those apricot muffins look really good!

Kara said...

I started a list of "things I want to cook/bake" and this has just gone to the top of the list. Thanks! Now if only I could find farmer's markets like yours... I love the idea of real fresh fruit from a market or road-side stand.

Jeanne said...

Oh me oh my, look at the state of those!! I'm always tempted to buy huge quantities of fruit/veg in season, but as you say, what to do with so much simultaneously-ripenign fruit? You seem t have found the perfect solution and I am SO going to try these!

Cris said...

The apricots on top are so cute, love this recipe.

TBC said...

The muffins look gorgeous especially with the apricot pieces peeking out like that!
Lovely pictures, as always!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh wow these look so good. I eat dried apricots all the time but I can't remember ever eating a fresh apricot (sounds ridiculous I know).

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lori-You bet I did!

meghan-You're welcome!

joanne-That's terrific!

lisa-Apricot jam is my favorite.


david-These were definitely not the cotton-y kind. Much more in the silk family. :)

alice-It was lovely meeting you too. And you'll love the muffins.

zita-The fragrance really is beautiful.

lisa-I've never heard of apricot fritters. Mmmm...

ronell-Thank you so much!

mansi-Happy baking!

Y-Well I'm glad it brightened your day!:)

dwiana-Oh, many thanks!


kara-Really? Oh, that's sweet.

jeanne-I really hope you do!

cris-They are cute, huh? :)

tbc-Thanks a bunch!

eatmedelicious-Oh, you've gotta get some good fresh ones!

Mansi said...

hey Susan, I made these with fresh apricots, ginger and cranberries a couple days ago, and have blogged about them too! I just loved them! thanks for inspiring me!:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Mansi-That's terrific! I love the addition of tart cranberries too.

Jaime said...

i love how you topped them with slices of apricot! yum!

Anonymous said...

These muffins just look too darn tasty. I can't wait to try them.