Plum and almond muffins

I adore almond flavour anything. I especially like the combination of almond and fruit. I also like muffins, a lot. They seem so much quicker and easier than cakes, but maybe that’s just because I can eat them warm from the oven without having to wait for them to cool first. Nor is there any of that sometimes tedious butter and sugar creaming. You can also make pretty much any flavour muffin you can think of. And I had been doing a lot of thinking, possibly more like craving, about almond flavouring and fruit leading up to the creation of these muffins.  I flavoured the batter with almond essence and added little chunks of fresh plum. I also put a teaspoon of plum jam in the middle of each muffin, giving them a lovely sweet stickiness that reminded me of bakewell tarts. Moist, sticky, fruity, almondy….a very perfect muffin combination.

Plum and almond muffins:

Ingredients:

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 140g soft brown sugar
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 1tsp almond essence
  • 250g plums, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • three heaped tbsps plum jam
  • 1-2   plums, sliced into 12 thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, milk, butter and almond essence.
  4. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just combined. Leaving a few streaks of flour is fine. If you over mix the batter the muffins will be dense.
  5. Gently stir in the chopped plums.
  6. Place about a tablespoon of the batter into the base of each muffin case. Make a small dent in the batter with the back of a teaspoon and fill the dent with a dollop of jam, about a teaspoon’s worth. Divide the remaining batter between the muffin cases. Place a plum slice on each muffin, nestling it into the batter slightly. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden and slightly springy when pressed in the centre. Allow to cool in the tray for a minute or so before transferring to a wire rack. These muffins are good eaten still warm.
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