As time goes by, I both love and hate to see the latest of the season’s local fruits and berries. I love the changes in the market stands for obvious reasons: new and exciting eating and baking options! But I hate to see the fruit varieties gradually disappear as the season progresses because it means that summer is slipping away with each passing fruit.
I guess I can’t be too upset when the berries make way for stone fruits like these plums. The flesh is firm and tastes like sweet candy, and the skin is crisp and tart. The plums are great at breakfast, served with tangy plain yogurt and crunchy quinoa puffs. Healthy. Or…. you could make these muffins.
These fruit muffins are fluffier and a little more delicate than the strawberry rhubarb muffins with streusel topping though the recipe is almost identical because the rhubarb muffins have ground almond and sour cream, which make a denser, more rich muffin, while the recipe below has more milk, which leads to a thinner batter that becomes a fluffier cake-like consistency as it bakes.
The recipe for these muffins is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (page 39). My tweak to this recipe is to add cardamom to the muffin batter. The floral cardamom enhances the flavour of the vibrant plums. If you dare, you can even up the amount of cardamom to a full teaspoon, or more. These muffins are super light, made with a full tablespoon of baking powder. The texture is quite cake-like, though the batter is assembled just like a traditional muffin recipe: adding the wet ingredients to the dry. I’ve been making these muffins at least once a year, and I just love them. I hope that you will too. They almost make me forget that the strawberries are long gone.
Cardamom coffee-cake plum muffins
- 24 grams (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 3.75 mL (¾ tsp) ground cinnamon
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) baking powder
- 2.5 mL (½ tsp) fine kosher salt
- 3.75 mL (¾ tsp) ground cardamom
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
- 190 mL (¾ cup) skim milk (fat free)
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter melted
- 250 grams (3–4 ) plums pitted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease 10 cups of two standard 6-cup muffin trays. Or you can line them with paper liners if you prefer. Set aside.
Make the cinnamon sugar topping
- Combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl or a little teacup. Set aside for later.
Make the muffin batter, assemble, and bake
- Prepare the dry ingredient mix by whisking together, in a medium bowl, the rest of the sugar, the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Set this aside.
- Prepare the wet ingredients in a medium bowl by gently whisking together the eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Divide the batter evenly by filling each of the muffin cups at least halfway with batter. Then distribute the plum chunks evenly over the batter in the muffin cups, and top with another dollop of batter. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a little of the cinnamon sugar mixture (you will probably have lots of cinnamon sugar left. Sprinkle it on buttered toast for breakfast!).
- Fill the remaining empty muffin cups halfway with water, transfer the pans to the oven, and bake for about 18 minutes. Check to see if they’re done with a cake tester. It should come out clean when the muffins are done.
- Transfer the pans to a rack and cool for about 10 minutes before unmolding the muffins.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.