So I shall now attempt the impossible and talk about plums without resorting to puerile innuendo.
Behold my glorious plums!
Ok I couldn't resist some mild cheekiness, but it is somewhat appropriate for these cheeky rascals. Roasting the plums prior to baking not only brings out the beautiful natural sweetness, but turns them lovely and jammy, which works stunningly with the warm and fragrant spicing. I did consider other spicy alternatives, such as cardamom and even star anise, but for now I've stuck with the more traditional cinnamon and just a hint of nutmeg. However if you want to experiment then have at it my fellow baking adventurer, for you are the master of your relative culinary domain!
Prep time: 25 Mins
Baking time: 30 Mins (Plums) 30 Mins (Muffins)
For the plums
6 Large Plums
25g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
35g Caster Sugar
For the muffins
190g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
190g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 heaped tsp Baking Powder
Begin by preheating the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Slice the plums in half, destone then place flesh side up on a large baking tray. Brush each generously with melted butter, scatter with caster sugar and roast in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes, until golden and yielding to the touch. Once roasted remove from the oven and set to one side to cool for ten minutes or so. While they are cooling you can turn the oven down to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Time for the muffins. Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the spices and vanilla, then sift in the flour along with the baking powder and mix to a smooth batter. Take a 12 cup muffin tray, line with muffin cases then evenly dollop the batter into each. Gently lift your plums (must... resist... innuendo...) from the tray and place one on top of each nearly filled muffin case. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes, until slightly risen with the plums just starting to catch, then remove. If you want to be sure the muffins are baked you can insert a metal skewer into one, as it should come out cleanly, but I personally like to avoid piercing my plums (must... resist...). Leave in the tray for ten minutes, before carefully removing and leaving each muffin to cool completely on a wire rack. Finished!