Damson (or Plum) and Cinnamon Muffins
It’s not easy to buy damsons, but it’s worth searching in farm shops and markets at the end of August.
However, if they’re not forthcoming, you can still make these with chopped dark plums.
Makes 6 large muffins
|150g plain flour|
|1 level dessertspoon baking powder|
|1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|¼ teaspoon salt|
|1 large egg|
|40g golden caster sugar|
|50g block butter, melted and cooled slightly|
|½ teaspoon vanilla extract|
|300g stoned damsons, halved (or plums, chopped|
|25g flaked almonds|
|For the topping:|
|25g flaked almonds|
|1 heaped tablespoon demerara sugar, combined with ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6|
|Need help with conversions?|
|A Silverwood muffin tray lined with 6 paper muffin cases generously brushed with melted butter|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
With muffins it's always a good idea to have everything weighed out and ready before you start
Begin by sifting the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.
Now, in another bowl whisk together the egg, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Then return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight into the egg mixture.
(This double sifting is crucial because we won’t be doing much mixing.)
What you now need to do is take a large metal spoon and fold the dry ingredients
quickly into the wet ones – the key word here is quickly (i.e. in about 15 seconds).
What you mustn’t do is beat or stir, just do the folding and ignore the uneven appearance
of the mixture because it’s precisely this that makes the muffins really light.
Over-mixing is where people go wrong.
Next, quickly fold in the damsons and flaked almonds – again no stirring. Now divide the mixture between the muffin cases.
Sprinkle on the topping and bake near the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them straight away to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight tin.
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Any of our muffin recipes can be adapted to any fruit, and blueberries have always been popular, so in this recipe I decided, instead of making muffins, I’d use the mixture to make a cake, which has turned out to be a real winner!
Imagine a cold, dark wintery morning, and you’d like to serve someone something really special for breakfast. Perhaps a birthday treat? Then look no further.
What’s good about changing seasons is looking forward to gooseberries, which only come once a year. They can of course be frozen but they’re never quite as good, so once a year make these glorious and very special muffins.
There were a few sceptics when, in my muffin madness, I suggested we try rhubarb. But if you chop it small it does what other fruits do, and releases its juicy fragrance, which permeates all through.
Apples, as I’ve said before, are good in cake recipes, adding fragrance as well as moisture. So they’re perfect for muffins. In the autumn you could replace one of the apples with an equal weight of blackberries
I just couldn’t stop eating these when we tested them, so for me this is another reason to look forward to the Christmas season. They are great at any time, but would be especially good for a celebratory breakfast on Christmas morning.
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